Almost three weeks (officially almost four) in my beautiful cottage house in Tatar’ja. Time has passed very quickly, although fruitfully.
[See how fast the veggies have grown in a week!]
The family I’m staying with owns some farm animals and some field, which they keep almost 100% organic. I have asked them to let me go with them several times. I am learning a lot about organic farming, plus, I get to hear the most natural language (outside the fieldwork sessions).
[Three types of wells that people use in the region, the one in the middle is “ours”]
Meanwhile, I had had to go to Minsk to share about my research (to the Society of Zaharoddzian or West Polesian Studies), be interviewed by TUT.BY, send a paper to a conference in Minsk, prepare my supervisory meeting.
[I love the sunsets I see every evening from the house]
I borrowed a bike and I am riding on it to the neighbouring villages to visit other speakers. Now that the weather is nice, it is actually a pleasure to go outside (otherwise, I am inside the cabin, working on the recordings and fighting with the mosquitoes, who apparently love me). I realise that it is very important to become visible in the villages. During winter that was a lot harder; now that many people are sitting outside their houses or working in the fields, we greet each other, and they are getting used to my presence.
Getting more technical, I have been working on modality and future. Common Slavonic had its imperfective future tense by adding different modal (partly desemantised) verbs’, usually volitive (want, will) or incoative (start) followed by the infinitive. From the XVI century the Eastern Slavonic subgroup got rid of the rest of the auxiliaries and chose the semantically most neutral verb ‘to be’ as the only auxiliary (Southern Slavonic languages have preserved it). However, there is a rest of it in Contemporary Ukrainian (робитиму), and in West Polesian.
The case of West Polesian is very interesting because, I am finding different form of that auxiliary with different nuances: maju robɪtɪ, majusja robɪtɪ, robɪtym(u), zrobɪtɪm(u), budu robɪtɪ and zrablju. Cross-linguistically it may not be that unusual, but it is special among the Eastern and Western Slavonic group. What is the function of each of them? It seems that there is lots of work to do, and this is just the begining.
Last Sunday I also got bad news, one of the speakers I had been interviewing a few days ago passed away. Thank you for all that you shared for the project and the future generations.
 MIKHAЇLYK, R. (2003). Grammaire pratique de l’ukranien: Manuel du niveau moyen. Paris: L’Harmattan (p.64)