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Thread: Past passive participles and deverbal adjectives

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    Почётный участник ShakeyX's Avatar
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    Past passive participles and deverbal adjectives

    From Duolingo:

    "SHORT PARTICIPLES

    Passive participles can be short, like adjectives, which is most useful for past participles. The agent, if needed, is in the Instrumental (such a use sounds quite formal):

    Пла́тье (бы́ло) сде́лано в Кита́е. = The dress was made in China.
    Э́та кни́га (была́) напи́сана в 1999 = This book was written in 1999.
    Иллюстрация нарисована мной. = The illustration was drawn by me.
    "

    So with short form adjectives denoting temporary states "Он голоден" and short form past participles denoting the passive "книга написана в 2016" it gets a little confusing.

    Then at the end of another website it gave an example which further confused matters:

    "Here are some examples of past passive participles from some common verbs. Note that you can use the past and future of быть with these participles, just as you can with other short adjectives (like Она была/будет больна):
    Сказано — сделано! No sooner said than done! (a saying)
    Магазин закрыт на ремонт. Store closed for renovations. (a sign)
    Все приглашены. Everybody has been invited.
    Всё было сделано вовремя. Everything was done on time.
    "

    Surely as stated in the duolingo lesson, if it is infact a past participle then the past is implied, along with the (был/а/о). With words like больна and закрыт, wouldn't these be considered pure adjectives, as you can use them with no implication of the past (or of any action atall, merely a state in the present)?

    Is it fair to say that these pure adjective have been constructed from past participles but now have a status of an adjective? As I imagine there are past participles that could not be used in the same manner as закрыт, for example написана would always imply the "была" in my mind, therefore cannot be considered an adjective.

    Likewise I imagine without the status of full adjective you could not use it as a predicate: летящая птица but not птица летящая (unless inverting the words for stylistic reasons). You would surely have to use птица летит.

    Just putting my thoughts out there as I saw the old сломан and thought to myself, are russians seeing (был) сломан (it was broken) and then inferring it must be broken in the present, or like in english, have the word "broken" got the status of full adjective and has gained meaning beyond its use as a past participle?

    Sorry if this is confusing, but I'm trying to unwrap it in my own mind as well,

    Cheers, Jake.

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    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    I believe the exact purpose for short adjectives is for the use as predicates, in contrast to a common adjective, which affects a noun that will go on to function with a verb(not быть). For example, "Книга старая... (verb is assumed to follow)" vs. "Книга стара."( - would likely be used I'd think) As far as I understand the sentence functions standing-alone, because the finite, as opposed to infinite/infinitive, verb has already come up: the omitted form of быть which is assumed to come with short adjectives. Ultimately adjectives made from verbs, passive or active, are full-fledged adjectives on the grammatical level in every way, though colloquially certain uses may be completely strange. When I first learned of verbal adjectives in Russian, I had the same question. Could one use the present active as an equivalent for English present progressive, e.g. "Птица летяща(я)." to mean "The bird is flying.". No. Essentially it makes no sense. I think the topic relates a lot to the English loss of the "passival" voice. In the olden days, one could say "the house is building" in order to avoid use of a real agent/subject. This was the passival. The structure "The house is being built." (the now standard passive voice replacement for the now unheard-of passival) seemed confounding in every way to many people, as they would understand it meaning: "The house is, being built, ...............(quite larger than the schematics suggested)"(Also, for comparison, the modernday, very different interpretation of the same words "The house is being built quite larger than the schematics suggested." which means someone is building wrong right now, as opposed to built the house wrong already). "Being" was supposed to only be an active adverbial participle, not a verbal adjective that shares the same form. The same expectation of the sentence not being over because of the clause structure and implications made by verb forms can be seen there. I actually don't know what I'm talking about as far as the use of short adjectives, and probably haven't answered your question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeyX View Post
    With words like больна and закрыт, wouldn't these be considered pure adjectives, as you can use them with no implication of the past (or of any action atall, merely a state in the present)?

    <...>

    Just putting my thoughts out there as I saw the old сломан and thought to myself, are russians seeing (был) сломан (it was broken) and then inferring it must be broken in the present, or like in english, have the word "broken" got the status of full adjective and has gained meaning beyond its use as a past participle?
    You are right. Открытый, закрытый, сломанный should be considered adjectives in most cases, not past perfective participles, since there isn't any 'perfectiveness' in their lexical meaning:
    Магазин закрыт на ремонт.
    Магазин открыт с 9-ти до 7-ми.
    Это закрытая информация.
    Я оставил дверь открытой.

    On the other hand, they can be used as normal participles too:
    дверь, закрытая на замок
    игрушка, сломанная ребёнком


    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeyX View Post
    Likewise I imagine without the status of full adjective you could not use it as a predicate: летящая птица but not птица летящая (unless inverting the words for stylistic reasons). You would surely have to use птица летит.
    Птица (есть) летящая makes no sence in Russian, since the Present Active verb is just летит.

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