On the competition between the prefixes <i>s-</i>, <i>z-</i>, <i>vz-</i> (not only) in Old and Middle Czech Cover Image

Ke konkurenci předpon <i>s-</i>, <i>z-</i>, <i>vz-</i> (nejen) ve staré a střední češtině
On the competition between the prefixes <i>s-</i>, <i>z-</i>, <i>vz-</i> (not only) in Old and Middle Czech

Author(s): Miloslava Vajdlová
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Ústav pro jazyk český
Keywords: prefixes <i>s-</i>; <i>z-</i>; <i>vz-</i>; development of language; Old Czech; Middle Czech

Summary/Abstract: Many verbs in Old, Humanistic and Baroque Czech are derived using the prefixes <i>s-</i>, <i>z-</i> and <i>vz-</i>. These prefixes are semantically and functionally partly synonymic: they have both resulting and perfective meaning, and, moreover, they all undergo phonetic changes in connection with the consonantal beginning of verbal roots: <i>s-</i> → <i>z-</i>, <i>z-</i> → <i>s-</i>, <i>vz-</i> → <i>z-</i>, etc. As a result, many lexical units facilitate several explanations for their origin and meaning. Functionally useless verbs disappear over the course of time due to the economy of the lexical system. This occurs in several ways: 1) through the simple elimination of lexical units redundant in terms of functional use; 2) through the reduction of registered forms frequently accompanied by shifts in meaning; 3) through the diminishing of the level of Old- and Middle-Czech polylexy in favor of verbs derived using prefixes other than <i>s-</i>, <i>z-</i> and <i>vz-</i>; 4) through the substitution of the prefixes <i>s-</i>, <i>z-</i> and <i>vz-</i> with other prefixes, formally clearly distinguishable and less exploited in terms of function, meaning and frequency of use; or possibly 5) through the general re-evaluation of the meaning and comprehension of a lexical unit.

  • Issue Year: 74/2013
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 269-278
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Czech