Lea Sawicki

Preverbation and narrativity in Lithuanian. The distribution of finite simplex and compound verbs in narrative main clauses

The article deals with the use of simplex and compound (prefixed) verbs in narrative text. Main clauses comprising finite verb forms in the past and in the past habitual tense are examined in an attempt to establish to what extent simplex and compound verbs exhibit aspect oppositions, and whether a correlation exists between the occurrence of simplex vs. compound verbs and distinct textual units. The investigation shows that although simple and compound verbs in Lithuanian are not in direct aspect opposition to each other, in the background text portions most of the verbs are prefixless past tense forms or habitual forms, whereas in the plot-advancing text portions, the vast majority of verbs are compound verbs in the simple past tense.

Keywords: aspect, background, foreground, narrative, preverbation, text-analysis