Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics Online

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(3,944 words)

Absentive is a type of language construction that involves a finite form of the verb ‘be’ with an infinitive. Semantically, absentive can express a range of meanings, from the absence of the person referred to in the utterance (hence the name) to direction, duration, or stative interpretation. In Slavic languages, absentive is most widespread in Czech and Slovak (e.g., Byl jsem se koupat) and attested as normative in the grammars of thes…

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Berger, Tilman, “Absentive”, in: Encyclopedia of Slavic Languages and Linguistics Online, Editor-in-Chief General Editor Marc L. Greenberg, Lenore A. Grenoble. Consulted online on 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-6229_ESLO_COM_031970>
First published online: 2020

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