Variable syntax of the Polish future imperfective
Maksymilian Dąbkowski
April 2023

This paper investigates the variable expression of the imperfective future in Polish. The Polish future imperfective is constructed analytically by combining a finite future form of the auxiliary verb 'być' ("be") and a non-finite form of the lexical verb. The non-finite form of the main verb has two variants: a regular infinitive and a deverbal participle. I examine potential correlations between the choice of the future form and three independent variables in a corpus of phone conversations (Mykowiecka et al., 2009) and two travel blogs (Pękała, 2023; talia, 2014). The three independent variables are: (i) genre/modality (phone conversation vs. written blog), (ii) speaker gender (male vs. female), and (iii) the syntactic category of the non-finite verb (content vs. auxiliary). I find that modality and syntactic category robustly predict variant choice while gender does not. While the infinitival construction is older, both variants have coexisted for at least 550 years (Cyran, 1961). This suggests that the Polish future imperfective variation is stylistically conditioned.
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Reference: lingbuzz/007277
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: dabkowski, polish, poland, polski, polska, west, slavic, variationist, variation, sociolinguistic, sociolinguistics, change, diachronic, diachrony, style, stylistic, genre, mode, modal, modality, auxiliary, content, future, imperfective, tense, aspect, analytic, synthetic, spoken, speech, written, writing, gender, sex, male, female, man, men, woman, women, non-finiite, finiteness, infinitive, infinitival, participle, l-participle, corpus, corpora, travel, blog, phone, conversation, obligatory, contour, principle, ocp, social, formal, informal, formality, register, syntactic, syntax
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