Verbs of remembrance: semantics, pragmatics, syntax

2016. № 2 (32), 9-31

Viktor S. Xrakovskij, Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences


The paper discusses Russian verbs of remembrance (pomnit’ ‘remember.IPF’; zapomnit’ ‘memorize.PF’; vspomnit’ ‘recollect.PF’, ‘recall.PF’; pripomnit’ ‘recollect.PF’, ‘recall.PF’; zapominat’ ‘memorize.IPF’; vspominat’ ‘recollect.IPF’, ‘recall.IPF’; pripominat’ ‘recollect.IPF’, ‘recall.IPF’; zabyt’ ‘forget.PF’; zabyvat’ ‘forget.IPF’; pozabyt’ ‘forget.PF’) and their reflexive correlates. The analysis attempts to specify the inventory of the first participants’ semantic roles in situations described by the verbs, as well as the types of conversion constructions formed by correlative reflexive verbs. It shows that with different verbs, the first participant can be either the Agent or the Experiencer, or it can combine both roles. The paper also notes that reflexive verbs can form either dative or passive constructions, while the reflexive verbs pozabyt’s’a ‘fade from memory.PF’; zapominat’s’a ‘be retained in one’s memory.IPF’; vspominat’s’a ‘come back to mind.IPF’ can form both constructions without any semantic difference between them.