I am searching for two special types of grammatical aspects.

  1. an aspect that has a meaning of 'try or attempt' ex: he made an attempt to ask.
  2. an aspect that has a meaning of 'eventual or definitive' ex: he has gone eventually.

2 Answers 2


(1) is "conative", though strictly speaking, it's not an aspectual category, since it's about more than just the temporal structure of the event. I don't know if there's a term for (2) (and I'm not actually sure exactly what you mean; some more examples might help).

  • Any language with #2 probly would just use an emphatic construction or some other marker of emphasis. Most languages have a lot of ways of doing this; it's not really an aspect.
    – jlawler
    Dec 23, 2013 at 21:53
  • Do you have a reference for the conative aspect? I've never heard of it before and can't find anything about it on Google.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 24, 2013 at 2:35
  • imho conative is more common in classical studies and in German linguistic research (Konativ).
    – Alex B.
    Dec 24, 2013 at 4:53
  • 1
    @curiousdannii You're right that there doesn't seem to be much info on conatives online; there's a recent article by Nigel Vincent in Linguistic Typology 17(2013):269-289 (link here if you can access it). As Alex B. says, the term originates in classical studies where people talk about the "conative imperfect".
    – TKR
    Dec 24, 2013 at 5:30
  • Cinque talks about aspects. You can find information about conative aspect in his books. They are avaliable at bookza
    – Dariya
    Jan 1, 2014 at 14:42

With respect to the 2nd aspect you said you were looking for:

 "2. an aspect that has a meaning of 'eventual or definitive' ex: he has gone eventually."

I'm not certain if this is what you have in mind, but ASL has a grammatical aspect inflection I haven't seen mentioned in the literature which may be similar in meaning to the type of aspect you are looking for, which focusses on the actual occurrence, realization, or completion of an action, event, or change of state--such as the eventual/actual occurrence of an anticipated event (e.g., "it finally exploded"); the completion of an action which has been in process (e.g., "[we kept trying and] finally succeeded," or "[I was hesitating to hit him but] then I actually/finally did"), or the occurence of an inchoative change of state, such as when one thing turns into another (e.g., "[the] mice became/turned into horses" or "[Abracadabra, poouf!] You're a milkshake!"); or when something comes to exist someplace where there wasn't anything before (e.g., "[a] house came [to be] there," i.e., where there wasn't one before)--or can simply focus on the fact that someone "became sick," or "got really sick."

I've been trying to find a standard term for this sort of grammatical aspect without much luck so far. The best term I've come across so far were in a couple of sources I've lost track of which identified this as telic grammatical (i.e., viewpoint) aspect--(not telic lexical or situational aspect).

(Oops--I forgot to mention that the aspectually distinct ASL verb form in question comprises a single movement which begins slowly, and then accellerates toward the end.)

In any event, I would also very much like to know if there is any standard term for this type of aspect--especially since I have almost never seen the term "telic" used except in reference to lexical rather than grammatical aspect.

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