I've seen articles covering semantics-related topics that present a formalism where every finite verb receives an event argument. This comment on a question on this site briefly describes what an event argument is.

I think you might be able to use this event machinery to explain why finite verbs in various sentences receive perfective or imperfective aspect. The idea being that the perfective introduces a new event and the imperfective does not. This isn't my idea. I'm cobbling together some half-remembered ideas presented in a few papers I read a long time ago, I'll try to find a source. I suspect the real distinction is more complicated ... and the choice of aspectual marking depends on more than whether the event in question is a new discourse participant or not.

That being said, I wonder if there's a language with an aspect distinction that's close-to-ideal from the perspective of events and could be used to support a theory of events as verb arguments in the first place.

I'm wondering if there are any languages with a 2-way aspectual distinction that aligns particularly well with the "am I introducing a new event?" test.

  • 2
    "Newness" of information really has nothing to do with aspect. Shouldn't you be looking at topic/focus instead? – curiousdannii Sep 15 '19 at 1:04
  • German flavouring particles like ja, doch and schon come to mind. – Adam Bittlingmayer Sep 15 '19 at 8:24

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