Some considerations upon D. Sitchinava’s book «Typology of the Pluperfect. The Slavonic Pluperfect» (Moscow, 2013)

2015. № 2 (30), 180-209

Maria N. Sheveleva, Lomonosov Moscow State University


The paper deals with certain aspects of D. Sitchinava’s book that are important for Russian historical grammar, especially those connected with the discussion of the Old Russian Pluperfect in the journal «Russian language and linguistic theory» in 2007–2009. The typology of the semantic evolution of the Pluperfect as it is described in Sitchinava’s book corresponds to the Old Russian facts very well. It is important to note that French and Northern Italian data — typologically the most similar to the Old Russian verbal system — corroborate the supposition that the situation in Old Russian may be the same: the old and the new («supercompound») pluperfect forms were as yet synonymous and were distinguished according to the literary or colloquial registers. The oldest Kievian texts — such as the Pouchenije of Vladimir Monomakh and Povest’ Vremennykh Let — testify to this supposition; the modern Ukrainian and Byelorussian dialects quoted in Sitchinava’s work testify to it too, because they preserve the archaic resultative meaning of the Pluperfect. Other problems connected with the history of the Old Russian Pluperfect which require to be investigated are also discussed.