“Situation of futile expectation” and negation

2012. № 2 (24), 219-241


The paper deals with the peculiarities of the usage of some forms of Perfective verbs (imperfect and present active participle) in negative contexts in the early East Slavonic written monuments. The research demonstrates that in Old Russian negation was a significant factor of the context that allowed the usage of Perfective aspect. The functioning of imperfects and present active participles formed from Perfective verbs in negative contexts was semantically close to the special usage of the present forms of Perfective verbs which A. Zaliznjak called “the present of the futile expectation ". However, in contrast to the forms of the present, the use of Perfective imperfects and present active participles in negative contexts seems to be a rather archaic phenomenon even in the Old Russian period.