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of L'viv Polytechnic National University

"Problems of Ukrainian Terminology"

№ 765

Ginzburg М. Ukrainian verbal nouns in -ння, -ття against a background of the neighbouring Slavic languages // Website of TC STTS: Herald of L'viv Polynechnic National University "Problems of Ukrainian Terminology". – 2013. – # 765.


The article are presented in the authors' edition

Mykhajlo Ginzburg

The Institute for Gas Transportation, Kharkiv




© Ginzburg М., 2013


У статті досліджено успадковування дієслівних категорій українськими назвами опредметнених процесів (nomina actionis) на -ння, -ття порівняно з успадковуванням аналогічних форм у польській, чеській і російській мовах. Розв'язати цю проблему дуже важливо для правильного розуміння фахових текстів та укладання нормативних документів.

Ключові слова: українська мова, польська мова, чеська мова, російська мова, назви опредметнених процесів на -ння, -ття, дієслівна категорія виду.


The article deals with verbal categories inheritance of Ukrainian names of objectified processes (nomina actionis) ended on -ння, -ття and their counterparts in the Polish, Czech and Russian languages. It is important to solve this problem for a proper understanding of professional texts and writing of normative documents.

Keywords: ukrainian language, polish language, czech language, russian language, names of objectified processes on -ння, -ття, verbal category type.


The state of the problem under study. The verbal nouns in -ння, -ття with the meaning of a process (further – the names of objectified processes[1], shortened as NOP, in Latin – nomina actionіs [1, p. 31]), which are in-between the noun and the verb, the most contradicting parts of speech, and combining their semantic and grammatical properties, play an important role in Ukrainian professional texts.

The question of inheriting the most important verbal category of aspect by Ukrainian NOPs has anyhow been the subject of studying in the numerous works of linguists in the past and modern times. The review of different opinions as for this problem is given in [1]. We should just add that in the works of the leading linguists Оleksa Syniavskyi and Mykola Nakonechnyi it is convincingly proved that if there are NOPs with the same root, they should be distinguished according to the semantics as well as according to the aspect, like formative verbs. At the same time some linguists, for example, A. Lagutina [6] and Lidiia Yurchuk [7] deny this and think that certain groups of NOPs in –ння,ття are neutral to the aspect meaning.

The question of inheriting the category of aspect is only a part of general problem of inheriting/neutralizing all totality of verbal categories of NOPs in ‑ння, ття. By today this problem is still waiting for its linguistic research. But practical guidelines for drafting of Ukrainian standards contained in DSTU 1.5:2003 [8], DSTU 3966-2000 [9] and its new edition DSTU 3966:2009 [10], are based on the concept that NOPs in ння, ття inherit some verbal categories. Considering this, the arguments of the stated concept has not only scientific topicality, but great practical importance.

The comparison of grammatical features of verbal nouns with the meaning of a process in various Slavic languages can be an important argument in such foundation, as all of them have the same origins – Proto-Slavic verbal-nouns formations in nьje, ‑tьje[2], verbal character of which can be proved by their ability to save like the adjectival participles (in Ukrainianдієприкметник or in transliteration – diyeprykmetnyk) and the adverbial participles (in Ukrainianдієприслівник or in transliteration – diyepryslivnyk) definite grammatical categories (of aspect in particular), and verbal government[3] [11, p. 136, 140]. All these forms were inherited by all Slavic languages: in Polish there are the verbal nouns in nie, ‑сie, in Russian – in ние, ‑тие, in Czech – in ní, , etc [12, p. 114, 135137]. But in each language they developed differently.

As no language can be studied separately from general grammatical experience acquired on the basis of other languages, today we have some works presenting the comparison of NOP’s features in various Slavic languages. Ukrainian and Russian NOPs were compared in the works [15; 16; 17]; Polish and Russian in author's abstract of dissertation [18], dissertation [19, p. 19] and textbooks of the Polish language for the Russian-speaking students [20, p. 207213]; Czech and Russian – in [21, p. 197199; 22, vol. 1, p. 213]; Ukrainian, Russian and Polish – in [1; 11]; Czech, Ukrainian and Russian – in [23, p. 341342]. General comparisons of many Slavic languages were given in the monograph [12]. But the problem has not yet been studied in its complexity.

The aim of this article is to study the general problem of inheriting verbal categories by the Ukrainian NOPs in ння, ‑ття basing on the sources mentioned above and to compare them with inheriting by similar verbal noun forms in Polish, Czech and Russian languages.


1. The inheriting of the verbal categories by Ukrainian NOPs in ння, ття.

Studying the lexemes, the linguists distinguish between their content (in Russian содержание, план содержания [24, p. 325, 438439], in Ukrainianзміст, план змісту) and the form (in Russianплан выражения [24, p. 9394, 325], in Ukrainian план вираження). “In language all those expressions which are directly perceived by the sense organ and hidden structural features which can be revealed by certain scientific researches, experimental in particular, belong to the form”. [25, p. 767768]. That is why, “the form of the word is the unity of grammatical meanings and the means of their expression in one word” [26, p. 193]. And “the lexical meaning of a word is the content laid in a word which can be defined by its relation to the corresponding concept. The stem is the bearer of lexical meaning[26, p. 84].

Considering this, it is necessary to distinguish between two interconnected concepts: processuality (in Russian процесуальность, in Ukrainian процесовість) and verbal character (in Russian глагольность [24, p. 106], in Ukrainian дієслівність). The first concept is a semantic category which reflects the safety of processual meaning in the verbal derivatives. The second concept is a grammatical category which reflects the safety of verbal grammatical meaning in the verbal derivatives. Processuality can be expressed directly (explicitly) through grammatical categories (i.e. through the verbal character) or indirectly (implicitly) through lexical meaning[4].

As it is well known [27, p7–8; 28, p. 3638], the verb is a part of speech that has the most number of grammatical categories, namely: verbal proper (tense, mood, aspect, voice, transitivity/intransitivity) and verbal non-proper (person, gender in some forms, and number). The latest have derivative character and depend on the connection of the verb with the prop noun in which they are independent, non-derivative.

Let us study the way how NOPs inherit verbal proper grammatical categories. Contrasting with the verb, which names the process running in specified time and connected with definite doer of action (logical subject), the correspondent NOP suggests the process as objectified abstract concept beyond this outer time and without relation to the doer [29, p. 33], and thus, NOP loses verbal categories of tense and voice, which are exclusively verbal proper [27, p. 7].

 “The verbal category of aspect is the category of absolute transpositional origin, it is transported from the verb to all derivative (verbal) types of the parts of speech – the verbal noun, the verbal adjective, the verbal adverb, compare читаєпрочитає and читанняпрочитання, читанийпрочитаний або читавшипрочитавши [30, p. 148]. That is why in the Ukrainian language as the result of morphological transposition of the verb into the noun, the latest saves “the category of aspect in partially modified way” [30, p. 116]. Thus, according to the data presented by G. Rashchinska who studied the Ukrainian verbal nouns in ‑ння, ‑ття that were fixed in the 6-volume Ukrainian–Russian Dictionary [31], 2134 nouns from total number 5202 (or 40.8 %) have correlative pairs, similar to the aspectual pairs of the verbs [16, p. 15]. This shows the word-formation regularity of NOPs’ aspectual pairs. It is interesting to compare presented data with the results achieved by A. Pinchuk as for morphological structure of the verbal nouns taken from the same dictionary. According to [32, p. 4142], the mentioned dictionary contains 6044 nouns in ‑ння, ‑ття (and that is 14% more than Rashchinska’s counts). From its total number 69.96 % are the nouns, derived from imperfective verbs, 29.2 % – the nouns, derived from perfective verbs, and 0.84% – the nouns, derived from bi-aspectual verbs. If to assume that the same distribution according to the aspect takes place for G. Rashchinska’s data, we can conclude, that nearly 70% NOPs derived from the perfective verbs, have correlative pairs, but for the NOPs derived from imperfective verbs, this part is considerably less and makes up about 30%.

It is interesting that the nouns in ‑ння, ‑ття differ from the verbs as for their distribution according to the aspect and existence of correlative pair. Thus, according to Nataliia Sukharina’s data [33, p. 12], who used Dictionary of the Ukrainian language [34] as the source, from total number 41000 verbs (100%) imperfective verbs, which do not have correlative pair with perfective verb, comprise 17.2%; perfective verbs, which do not have correlative pair of imperfective verb, – 27.6 %; the verbs, which have correlative aspectual pair, – 53.4 %; and bi-aspectual verbs1.8 %.

Following the given data we can conclude:

1) though the majority of Ukrainian verbs are perfective verbs (54.3 %), and imperfective verbs comprise 43.9 %, we have inverse relation among the nouns in ‑ння, ‑ття: 69.96 % are the nouns derived from imperfective verbs, 29,2 % are the nouns derived from perfective verbs. This proves Rashchinska’s conclusions about NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття, that they are mostly derived from imperfective verbs while the possibilities of perfective verbs in such word-formation are somehow limited [16, p. 15];

2) bi-aspectual verbs and the nouns in ‑ння, ‑ття, derived from them, comprise 1.8 % and 0.84 %, respectively;

3) the verbs which have correlative aspectual pair, comprise 53.4 %, and similar NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття, – about 40.8 %. This justifies, on the one hand, regular character of correlative pairs building, both the verbs as NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття, but, from the other hand, the aspectual pairs of NOPs are less because of the absence of correlatives derived from perfective verbs [16, p. 15].

Now let us consider interconnected categories of transitivity/intransitivity and the category of voice which are expressed in syntactic relations between the verb and the nouns in the correspondent case-forms (doer of action and recipient of action) [28, p. 3638]. They reflect the directedness of extralinguistic reality processes (see Figure 1).


Figure 1. Classification of extralinguistic reality processes according to the directedness


In transitive process there necessary must be two participants: the doer (or agent, actor, in Latin – agens [24, р. 31]) and the recipient (or patient, in Latin – patiens [24, р. 315]). In professional texts the living beings (persons in particular) and the lifeless things (natural, technical or social) can be the doers.

In intransitive process we can not separate the doer from the recipient. Such process can have several kinds (see Figure 1). Firstly, it is the bidirectional process of interaction (притягуватися, відштовхуватися, перетинатися, обмінюватися, листуватися, радитися, зустрічатися, etc), the characteristic feature of which is that each of the two participants is simultaneously the doer and the recipient. Secondly, it is the process in which only one participant takes part that is both the doer and the recipient. That is why such processes do not widen on other objects. Figure 1 shows two groups of such processes:

the processes directed on a self (навчатися, поширюватися, ховатися, ґрунтуватися), or the processes, performed in the own interests (будуватися, запасатися, пакуватися);

the processes, reflecting the change in the state of a lifeless thing or a living being (горіти, червоніти, рости, довшати, летіти, падати, ширшати, розшаровуватися, ділитися, відчинятися) or internal state of a living being (журитися, хворіти).

The semantic of the verb analyzed above is the basis for the category of transitivity/intransitivity. According to [30, p. 247–248] transitivity/intransitivity means the possibility or impossibility of the process expressed by the verb, to spread /not to spread over, to direct /not to direct oneself at the recipient which can be expressed by any case-form or prepositional-case form in the sentence.

Depending on the expressions of transitivity, directly transitive and indirectly transitive verbs are distinguished. Directly transitive verbs are the verbs defining the process directed at the recipient, which is designated by the form of accusative case without preposition or by genitive case in negative sentences, or if the action is directed not at the whole recipient, but only on its the part. Indirectly transitive verbs are the verbs which also designate the process directed at the recipient, but this recipient can be realized by the forms of any indirect cases or by prepositional-case forms.

As it goes from the Table 1, Ukrainian NOPs in ння; ття inherit valence features of the formative verb and its possibility to govern: the form of the subordinate noun which is dependent on NOP, designates the recipient as well as this with the verb. Thus, genitive case with the meaning of a recipient with NOP derived from directly transitive verbs is the regular transformation of the accusative case with the meaning of a recipient with directly transitive verb and indicates the safety of the semantic of the direct transitivity of the verb in such NOPs.

NOPs derived from indirectly transitive verbs inherit the case of the subordinate noun or the subordinate prepositional-case form (see Table 1)


Table 1.

The inheriting of the possibility to govern by NOPs

Kind of transitivity


Verbal nouns

Directly transitive

підбирати (що?) матеріал

підбирання (чого?) матеріалу

Indirectly transitive

піклуватися про (кого?) дітей

піклування про (кого?) дітей

запобігати // запобігти (чому?) надзвичайним ситуаціям

запобігання // запобіження (чому?) надзвичайним ситуаціям

керувати (чим?) кафедрою

керування (чим?) кафедрою


Morphological means of separation of the transitive and intransitive verbs with the same root are the suffixes and the postfix ся; білити що? (trans.) – біліти (intrans.), ширити що? (trans.) – ширшати (intrans.), навчати кого? (trans.) – навчатися (trans.). Sometimes NOPs save this morphological difference, for example, ширення (from ширити)andширшання (from ширшати), and Oleksa Synyavskiy called on not to mix them [4, p. 77]. In other cases the forms of NOPs coincide, for example, two homonyms біління I – action with the meaning of білити and біління IІ – action with the meaning of біліти. Although there is the noun білення synonymous to біління I [34, vol. 1, p. 182], and this gives the possibility in terminology to name the transitive process as білення, but intransitive – as біління, and thus to distinguish the objectified transitive processes from intransitive ones[5]. As for the formative verbs with the postfix ся, the nouns derived from them save their reflexive meaning, but lose this postfix, and that is why they are simultaneously motivated from the correspondent verbs with the postfix ся and without it [35, p. 69], for example, навчання is an action with the meaning of навчати and навчатися [34, vol. 5, p. 43].

Thus, Ukrainian NOPs in ння; ття inherit from the verbs, from which they are derived, a number of verbal features, such as the aspect, transitivity/intransitivity. The specific is that the noun with the meaning of a recipient which is by the verb in the accusative, stand by the NOP in the genitive and NOPs derived from reflexive verb, lose the postfix ся saving their reflexive meaning.


2. The inheriting of the verbal features by NOPs in some modern Slavic languages.

Despite of the similarity of their origin, some Slavic languages differ considerably as for their possibility to save verbal categories and the formal features appropriate to them [12, p. 135].

Thus, “the Polish literary language is rich in the verbal nouns in nie, сie, it is inclined to them, and this why they became native to the Polish language” [37, p. 194]. It produced from them a new type of the verbal noun which saves a number of verbal categories, and that is why it is often considered at as a peculiar form of the verbal noun (in Polish odsłownik, ad verbum, derived from the verb) [12, p. 137] or the noun form of the verb (in Polish rzeczownikowa forma czasownika) [20, p. 207]. Its characteristic feature are the regular character of derivation practically from any verb (the exceptions are only modal verbs, some verbs serving as the predicate in the impersonal sentences and some intransitive verbs with the meaning of increasing the quality), existence of grammatical categories of aspect and voice[6], inherited from the formative verbs, singularia tantum [12, p. 136; 38, p. 3941] (see Table 2).

Similar phenomenon is observed in the Czech language (see Table 2) [21, p. 197199; 23, p. 341342], where mentioned NOPs in ní, ‑ are regularly derived from the verbs (adjectival Passive Participles) both of the perfective aspect and imperfective aspect, and the derived NOPs contrast to each other as well as the formative verbs[7]. In contrast to the Polish verbal nouns the Czech ones, derived from the reflexive verb, lose their particles se and si but save their reflexive meaning [21, p. 198; 23, p. 341].

Thus, in the West Slavic languages NOPs in ‑nьje, tьje save not only semantic of the verb, but grammatical verb categories and bear the status of the verbal form as well as the adjectival participle and the adverbial participle do. In Grammar references and textbooks they are studied in the sphere of the verb.

Quite the other situation is observed in the Russian language (see Table 2). Though as many scientists consider, Russian NOPs in ние, тие, starting from the end of the XVIIth – the beginning of the XIXth centuries expressed the grammatical category of aspect as clearly as the verbs and with the same tools (with the means of suffixes, prefixes, alternation, stress shifting and suppletive stem). For example, делание // сделание, прогуливание // прогулянье, собирание // собрание, ловление // поймание. [11, p. 137; 39, p. 73]. But further in Russian the verbal character of NOPs in ‑ние, ‑тие, weakened because of vanishing of the aspect correlation of such names caused by the extinction of certain underlying stem. At first, (possibly, it was in the XVIIIth – the beginning of the XIXth centuries), NOPs which derived from the imperfective verbs in –a‑ and correlated with the stems of perfective verbs in –и‑ stopped forming, for example, the NOP восхищание (въсхыщание) from восхищать and восхищаться which is fixed in the dictionary by Izmail Sreznevskiy [40, vol. 1, p. 430], vanishes, but NOP восхищение (въсхыщение) from восхитить and восхититься remains. Because of this the verbal nouns in ‑ение, derived from the stem in –и‑, became neutral to the aspect meaning of the stem: they name a process independently from the peculiarities of its flow, duration, termination, etc. Starting with around the thirties of the XIX century, the stem of the perfective verbs with prefixes, correlated with the stem of imperfective verbs in –ива, ва‑, started vanishing from the system of the word-formation of NOPs, but NOPs derived from such imperfective verbs became more productive and regular. If the nouns derived from the stem in –ива, ва‑ have essentially the meaning of a process, then the nouns derived from perfective verbs, correlated with them, stop their circulation (for example, узнание, просмотрение, etc), or gradually lose the meaning of a process and gain the meaning of a thing (for example, взыскание, повеление, предписание, etc.), and started to be used in plural [14, p. 9193].


Table 2.

The peculiarities of inheriting and exposing the verbal features of NOPs in –nьje, ‑tьje in some modern Slavic languages


The Polish language

The Czech language

The Ukrainian language

The Russian language


nie, сіе


ння, ття

ние, тие

If the aspectual pair exists NOPs are formed

regularly as well as from the perfective and imperfective verbs. The exceptions are only modal verbs, some verbs in the function of predicate in impersonal sentences and some intransitive verbs with the meaning of increasing the quality. The infinitival stems or the present stems are used as underlying stems (depending on the type of the verb). [20, p. 207208; 38, p. 3940]

regularly as well as from the perfective and imperfective verbs. Adjectival Passive Participles and in some occasions directly the infinitival stems of intransitive verbs which do not have adjectival Passive Participle forms, are used as underlying stems [21, p. 197198; 23, p. 341342].

regularly as well as from the perfective and imperfective verbs. [32, p. 4142], but, in contrast to the Polish language, they are not formed from some types of perfective verbs and from definite types of imperfective one [16, p. 15; 32, p. 4345; 49, p. VII]. The infinitival stems are used as underlying stems. [16, p. 7]. The derivational models are given in [1, p. 33].

usually only from one of the pair, more often, from perfective verb stem (compare, for example, выделение, совпадение, распространение, etc). The verbal nouns are not formed from imperfective verbs without aspectual suffix (‑ива‑, ‑ва-) and from imperfective verbs contrasted to perfective with the open hard stem in ну‑. As the examples of opposition of the verbal nouns derived from both members of aspectual pair they are interpreted as the opposition of single and repeated actions, compare, размежевание :: размежёвывание [22, vol. 1, p. 237]

Constant aspectual opposition of NOPs

Yes [20, p. 209; 38, p. 42]

Yes [21, p. 198; 23, p. 342]

Yes [1, p. 33; 4, p. 7677; 5; 30, p. 116, 148]

No [22, vol. 1, p. 212213; 42, p. 15].

NOPs are studied in

the sphere of the verb [19, p. 19; 20, p. 207]

 the sphere of the verb [19, p. 19; 22, vol. 1, p. 213]

the sphere of the noun[8] [30, p. 115- 116]

 the sphere of the noun [18, p. 13; 19, p. 19; 22, vol. 1, p. 237]

NOPs save government of the verbs from which they were derived with the substitution of the subordinate noun in the accusative case by that in the genitive case.

yes [20, p. 210]

yes [23, p. 341]

yes [50, p. 78]

yes [14, p. 97; 18, p. 12]

The verbal nouns, derived from reflexive verbs,

can save the reflexive particle się and the reflective meaning [20, p. 208; 38, p. 4142]

lose the particles se and si, but save the reflective meaning [21, p. 198; 23, p. 341]

lose the postfixся, but save the reflective meaning, and that is fixed in the dictionaries of the Ukrainian language. For example, навчання names the action with the meaning of навчати and навчатися [7, p. 1920].

lose the postfixся, but save the reflective meaning. For example, обогащение names the action with the meaning of обогатить, обогащать and обогатиться, обогащаться [14, p. 93; 18, p. 12]

Existence of the plural form

No [12, p. 136; 20, p. 209]

No data

The imperfective nouns are only used in the singular: засоби охолоджування, тер-мін відвантажування, період спостерігання. But the perfective noun can be used in the plural form if the amount of the performed operations is somehow defined: кількість розтягнень, серія досліджень, унаслідок кількох покриттів тощо [8, subclause 5.1.3; 10, subclause Г.5.1.2][9]

There are no limitations on the plural form [51, p. 198200].

Sphere of usage

is not limited by the bookish styles (official, scientific and publicistic), and NOPs are often used in the belles-lettres and spoken language [20, p. 208; 38, p. 44].

is mainly official and scientific style. NOPs are not typical for spoken language. Their accumulation in the sentence leads to negative stylistic consequences [23, p. 341].

is mainly official and scientific style [52, p. 56]. NOPs are not usual in the living Ukrainian language; they are less natural for it. It is recommended to avoid NOPs, especially their accumulation, and instead of NOPs to use formative verbs and adverbial participles [37, p. 194-201; 53, p. 100-102; 54, p. 79, 11, 3941].

is various styles. Though in [51, p. 300-301] some faults of the constructions with the verbal nouns are fixed, and the ways of their removal are offered.


The remains of the Russian contrasted NOPs according to the aspect are fixed in the Dictionary by Vladimir Dahl, which was firstly issued in the 60-ties of the ХІХth century. In this Dictionary the NOPs were marked as «длит.» (in Russian длительный вид, in English – “durative”), «окнч.» (in Russian окончательный вид, in English – “final”) and «об.» (in Russian общее действие, длительное и окончательное, in English – “common action, durative and final”) [41, vol. 4, p. ІІІ, VIII]. But during the second part of the ХІХth and during the whole XXth centuries Russian NOPs in ‑ние, тие were gradually losing and almost lost the ability to express aspectual opposition, though they saved verbal government (see Table 2). As it is stated in the Russian Grammar [22, vol. 1, p. 212213], “their derivation is not very regular, and the existing derivates more often do not express aspectual opposition, and that is why they are therefore uncertain in aspectual relation, comp. в процессе решения этой трудной задачи :: после удачного решения этой трудной задачи. According to the data, collected by Olena Pchelintzeva, “from total number 5500 Russian verbal nouns only 414 saved their formal correlative aspectual pairs, such as накапливание // накопление, but in oral speech such differentiation is very rare” [17, p. 150]. Thus, in the modern Russian language “because of irregularity of its formal expression the category of aspect is not appropriate to the noun” (our setting of text in bold – M. G.) [42, p. 15].

Table 2 comparatively shows the peculiarities of inheriting verbal features by NOP`s forms in nьje, ‑tьje in the modern Polish, Czech, Ukrainian and Russian languages. As it follows from the Table 2, there are the features, characteristically common for all studied languages (for example, safety of the verbal government), but there are also different features. For example, as it concerns the aspectual features, the Ukrainian language is closer to the West Slavic languages (to Polish and Czech) more than to Russian, but considering some other peculiarities, (e. g. the nouns derived from the verbs with the postfix ‑ся) it is closer to Russian and Czech.

In the 30-ties of the XXth century such objective scientific conclusion was thought as the manifestation of “nationalist wrecking” (in Ukrainianвияв «націоналістичного шкідництва»). Thus, in the preamble to the Orthography of 1933 it is stated, that it had been worked out with the purpose eliminating the all rules “that oriented the Ukrainian language to the Polish and Czech bourgeois cultures, distorted the modern Ukrainian language, and erected a barrier between the Ukrainian and Russian languages” [43, p. 5]. And the compilers of the Dictionary of Physics Terminology were blamed for allegedly substitution of some physical terms by “less known or even unknown for the working people Polonisms (the political sense of such polonophileness is obvious – association with the Polish fascism)” [44, p. 6]. It was such severe political accusation, that even after a quarter of a century during Khrushchev’s Thaw, when the People's Republic of Poland was already the USSR’s ally, Nadiia Moskalenko [45] had to ‘justify’ each term officially accepted in the current Orthography of 1945, which had been borrowed from the Polish terminology, e. g. доконаний вид (in English – perfective) and недоконаний вид (in English – imperfective) (p. 116118), час (in English – tense) (p. 121), etc. In particular she wrote about the latest (p. 122) the following: “T. Glinskii made a considerable contribution into the choice (let it be from the Polish language) of a term, the structure of which does not contradict the laws of the Ukrainian language (our setting of text in bold – M. G.). And in the Soviet Academic Grammar [29, p. 58] the gender variability of the borrowed nouns like апогейапогея is explained by the different ways of borrowing through either the Polish or Russian languages, and it is accentuated that “for the majority of the Ukrainian-speakers… the Russian language is the main intermediary language”. And because the Ukrainian language was not allowed to have any forms which could coincide with Polish and different from Russian, in the Ukrainian orthography of 1945 the term синтаксис is fixed [46, p. 170], while the Ukrainian orthography of 1933 still contained the term синтакса [43, p. 88].

The echo of this politicization is found even in the modern work written by A. Skoplev [11, p. 138], in which after objective comparative analysis of the three languages it is stated, that “in the modern Ukrainian language the tendency to interpret the verbal noun as the verbal form basing on ‘the West Slavic model’ is observed”.

Actually that means not rejection from “the Russian model”, and shifting to “the West Slavic model”, but construction Ukrainian one which would reflect the peculiarities of the Ukrainian language and would not depend on the peculiarities of the neighboring languages.



1. Contrasting to the adjectival participles (in transliteration – diyeprykmetnyk) and the adverbial participles (in transliteration – diyepryslivnyk), each of them inherit the grammatical category of aspect from the formative verb, the category of aspect in the Ukrainian language is not appropriate to all the verbal nouns with the meaning of a process, but just to some part of them, that are NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття. Other NOPs (suffixless, in к(а), ‑зія, ‑ція, etc.) inherit only the semantic of the verb (i.e. processuality), but not the grammatical category of aspect (i.e. verbal character).

2. Because for the adjectival participles, the adverbial participles and for NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття their grammatical meaning is inherited, it is defined by the aspectual meaning of a formative verb. That is why certain NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття, as well as any other adjectival participles or adverbial participle has its aspectual meaning independently from the existence of correlated pair of the contrasting aspect, or not.

3. Following from the comparison of the verbal features of NOPs, it goes, that there are some verbal features common to all the analyzed languages (e.g. safety of the verbal government), but there are also different ones. For example, as for the aspectual features, the Ukrainian language is closer to the West Slavic languages (Polish and Czech), than to Russian, but what concerns some other features (e.g. the nouns derived from the verbs with the postfix –ся), Ukrainian is closer to Russian and Czech.

4. Correctly solving the problem of inheriting verbal grammatical categories by NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття is possible only in case of strictly impartial scientific and depoliticized approach, considering grammatical features of the Ukrainian language and overcoming psychological dependence on the Russian and Polish languages. As Oleksander Taranenko stated, “this dependence can be either direct: ‘as it is in the Russian or Polish languages’, or inverse: ‘[to be] not the way as it is in the Russian or Polish languages”. The reasonable, definitely, should be another approach: ‘as it is in the Ukrainian language itself, responds its very spirit” (our setting of text in bold – M. G.) [47, p. 4].

5. This research gives proof of the concept of inheriting verbal categories by NOPs in ‑ння, ‑ття and correspondently of the practical recommendations DSTU 1.5:2003 and DSTU 3966:2009, based on it.

6. Because Ukrainian NOPs in –ння, –ття combine not only semantic but grammatical features of the verbs and the nouns, the verbal nouns should be considered twice: as in the sphere of the noun, and in the sphere of the verb, like it is done with the adjectival participle, which is in the sphere of the adjective and the verb. It is important for working out various academic and teaching grammar books, textbooks of the Ukrainian language[10].


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[1] Hence, according to the classical works by Dmitry Lotte [2, p. 29] and Tatjana Kandelaki [3, p. 9], the conceptual category of extralinguistic reality will be marked with the term process, that coincides with process as a general philosophic category, which denotes continuous changing with time in the objects and phenomena of extralinguistic reality, and with the concept of process as the common meaning of the Verb as a part of speech.

[2] Andre Vaillant thinks that in the Old Slavic language the verbal nouns (in Russian – глагольные существительные) mentioned above “are the ones derived from adjectival Passive Participles” (in Russianстрадательные причастия), they are the part of a conjugation” (in Russianглагольное спряжение), as “they be freely created from any verb”, intransitive in particular “whose adjectival Passive Participles are only potential” (here and then – our translation from Russian and Ukrainian sources – M. G.) [13, p. 277]. The origin of the suffixes ‑nьje, ‑tьje is connected with the metanalysis (in Russianпереразложение) of the adjectival Passive Participles stems in –n, -t joined by the formant of an abstract noun ьje, which was limitless productive in old time. The mechanism and the causes of the metanalysis are explained by the scientists in such a way. As such nouns started forming both from transitive verbs which have adjectival Passive Participles, and intransitive ones which do not have such forms, there was a demand in ‘balancing’ underlying stems and derivational formants. Thus, derivative suffixes nьje, ‑tьje, appeared, and then underlying stem of any verb infinitive was gradually representing [14, p. 86].

[3] In the Old Slavic language “the usage of the verbal nouns was widely spread, in some cases they create the verbal constructions rather than the noun constructions, that is why they may be accompanied with the accusative case”. “Because the verbal nouns derive from perfective and imperfective verbs, they (the nouns – M. G.) form such correlated aspectual pairs, as the verbs”. [13, p. 278]. It should be noticed, that the category of aspect in the Old Slavic language was just creating, that is why we do not say about ‘full’ aspectual meaning, but about their germs. [11, p. 136–137].

[4] Verbal character is understood differently in different works. For example, D. Mironov [19, p. 19] considers that the verbal character (in Russian глагольность) is a semantic feature, which is characteristic to the verbal noun because of their derivative relationship with the verb, i.e. what we call processuality.

[5] Аhatanhel Кrymskyi [36, p. 7] points to, that the word-formation of the verbal nouns in ення from the verbs in ‑ити is explained by analogy with the adjectival Passive Participles in ‑ений, and the word-formation of the verbal nouns in ‑iння from those verbs – by analogy between the verbs in ‑ити and ones in іти. Since from the verbs in іти the nouns in іння are naturally derived.

[6] In the Polish language transitive verbs have the forms of two voices – the Active and the Passive. The first form is used in active constructions, and the second – in the passive one. The system of Passive Voice is formed by complex analytical constructions with the adjectival Passive Participles. In modern Polish language the transitive verbs with the reflexive particle się in the passive meaning are not practically used in passive constructions. [20, p. 204–207].

[7] The Passive voice in the Czech language is expressed in two ways: 1) by the descriptive forms comprising short adjectival Passive Participle and correspondent forms of the auxiliary verb být; 2) by the construction with the reflective form of the verb. In the modern Czech language descriptive passive forms are more often used from perfective verbs, whereas reflective passive constructions – from imperfective verbs, which are commonly used with the meaning of repeated and habitual actions [21, p. 173].

[8] It does not agree with the grammatical features of Ukrainian NOPs in ння, ття, which, in our opinion, can be correctly studied twice: its substantive grammatical category – in the sphere of the noun, and its verbal grammatical category (inheriting the category of aspect, in particular) – in the sphere of the verb.

[9] In the prospect of the Dictionary of Ukrainian language (for the discussion) its author, Petro Goretskyi, suggested to mark with мн. нема the verbal nouns in –ння, –ття with the meaning of a process [48, p. 47], but it was not realized in the Dictionary.

[10] In the modern Academic Grammar of the Ukrainian Language [30] the adjectival participles (diyeprykmetnyk) is described twice: in the chapter 3 “The Adjective” as the verbal adjective (§ 8) and in the chapter 6 “The Verb” as the diyeprykmetnyk in the sphere of the verb.(§ 30).



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