Questions tagged [aspect]

Marking of the temporal structure of an event.

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Phase and aspect

Question How to distinguish between phase and aspect? From one-language point of view To take an example from Mandarin Chinese, I don't see a difference between a phrase with (cf. the quote from (...
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The aspect of imperative mood in English

What is the aspect of imperative mood in English? e.g., Go home! I know the mood of the verb is imperative here, but I am not sure about the aspect.
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some basic questions about morphological aspect

According to the definition, morphological aspect presents the reported event or state of affairs as if viewed either from inside the event (‘in progress’) or outside the event (‘as a whole’). For ...
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How would you label an aspectual suffix that indicates that an action has stopped or become static?

This suffix seems to behave as the opposite of an inceptive suffix (which indicates that an action has begun). 3SUBJ-go-INCEPTIVE `he started to go' 3SUBJ-go-??? `he stopped'
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Why grammaticalized perfective aspect marker is reduced to be used only in narrative style?

I am looking at a set of ballistic verbs like nak, phenk 'throw' in a minor Indo Aryan language spoken in Dravidian vicinity, where one verb of the set is reduced to light verb with perfective meaning,...
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Question about habitual aspect and object licensing in English

In the following sentences: (1) I am writing a letter. (2) I wrote a letter yesterday. (3) I will write a letter tomorrow. (4) I often write letters. (5) I like writing letters. (6) It is my ...
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Languages with an aspectual split indicating whether a new "event" is introduced

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 ...
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How to understand semelfactive aspect of a verb? How is it varied/similar to iterative aspect?

How semelfactive aspect of a verb that represents a single occasion of an event like knock,hit etc..is perfective and moment defined. whereas,iterative aspect is event that is repeated on single ...
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Describing continuity and change (like mou and mada in Japanese)

In Japanese, mada まだ refers to a continuing state: 'still (as it was)' or 'not (changed) yet', and mou もう is about change: 'already (changed)' or 'no longer (the same)'. Are there other languages ...
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Do other languages have an "irreversible aspect"?

Like many languages, Lingála combines tense, aspect, and mood into a single TAM marking. Three of these TAMs pertain to the past: a-kɛnd-ákí "he left earlier today" (hodiernal/recent past) a-kɛnd-áká ...
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Why is participial clause tenseless?

Participles, among the non-finite verbal inventory, most often appear to be taken by linguists as being tenseless or having the feature [-tense]. This is due to their interaction only with the Aspect ...
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habitual aspect in english

In discussions of AAVE, people frequently bring up the "habitual be", as in (1) He be working. Usually, they use this as an example of something that Standard English doesn't have. This Wikipedia ...
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Is there a language where semantic aspect determines which tense is unmarked in a verb?

For every language there is a tense that is morphologically closest to the root, e.g. English present is more basic than perfect since perfect either adds a suffix -(e)d or has ablaut as tense marker. ...
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Difference between tense & Grammatical aspect?

I know this question has been posed before, and I know also that there were different versions of putting it depending on models and different kinds of reasoning. What I want to understand, is the ...
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Which language expresses aspect most similarly to English?

I suppose there are at least two ways to read this question (forgive me, I'm not a linguist, just a struggling practical language student): 1) Which languages' aspects map onto those in English most ...
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Evolution of perfective aspect from Sanskrit derivational suffix -ka in Modern Indo-Aryan languages

It is well attested that the Sanskrit derivational suffix -ka for adjectives together with the syntesized participle on nominals like krta-ka>done, evolved as the possessive case marker in modern Indo-...
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Do perfectives have to be successfully completed?

This post's answer says that "to need" is imperfective because a perfective must be successfully completed, while many of the responses to this post seem to imply that a perfective doesn't need to ...
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Why is the verb "to need" and "to observe" always imperfective in Slavic languages?

I have been reading into Balto-Slavic languages and come across a problem. "To need" is always imperfective. If I use the imperfective past verb, "to need," I am going to be still, presently needing ...
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What is the relationship between perfectivity and the Classical Japanese conjunctive particle "-て" ("-te")?

In Classical Japanese, the auxiliary verb "-つ" ("-tsu") has a perfective function, indicating the completion of an action or process. According to Haruo Shirane's Classical Japanese: A Grammar, "-て" ("...
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How can the perfective aspect apply to the present tense?

The perfective aspect is makes it so that the verb is viewed "outside" the verb, while imperfective verbs have an internal view into the verb. This makes sense for past tense verbs, in order to view ...
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Is there really a perfect tense?

I went through my entire English and French educations learning nothing about aspect. We only learned about tenses and a little bit about mood. With that K12* vocabulary, we'd call J'avais mangé l'...
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Is pluperfect an aspect or a relative tense?

I have heard that pluperfect is simply past tense relative to a subsequent past moment rather than to the moment of the utterance. “I had blown out the candle” indicates that this event occurred ...
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"Did" as a habitual / emphatic marker in Southern varieties of British English

I'm currently doing research on the salience of did as an emphatic marker in Southern varieties of British English as illustrated in (1). I'm comparing this with the salience of did as a habitual ...
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Do auxiliary verbs always express different aspect/mood/tense?

Do auxiliary verbs always serve to express a mood or aspect that is different from simple indicative (or a tense)? Or are there cases where a sentence is in simple-indicative-present with the presence ...
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Does English have [ inchoative aspect ]?

Does English have the [ inchoative aspect ] ? The first passage quoted below says NO, but the second says YES. . . . So I guess it depends on the definition. Is English generally/usually said to (...
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What do the 'Perfect' and 'Perfective' Aspects share or have in common?

[ Source: ] At this point I’ve established that the perfect and the perfective are two separate concepts. However, there’s a conceptual relationship between these two even if there’s not an intrinsic ...
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Diagnostic for Finiteness

For a language that does not have overt morphological tense and any tense distinctions (e.g. Malay), how is it possible to discern whether a clause is finite or non-finite? Is it possible to use ...
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Grammatical Aspect and Lexical Aspect

This is my first question here. I normally participate in ELU. This question was posted yesterday https://english.stackexchange.com/q/289903/129806. The OP asks why They build a house next to mine. ...
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What's the difference between iterative and frequentative aspects?

According to Wikipedia, the iterative aspect "expresses the repetition of an event", and the frequentative aspect "indicates repeated action". Is there a difference or are they synonyms?
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Uncommon lexical aspects

In Q’eqchi’ you can derive verbs with different lexical aspects from a base verb, e.g: Verbal stem b’ak’ (0) xinb’ak’ = I tied it (1) xinb’ak’b’ak’i = I tied it quickly (2) xinb’ak’le = I tied it ...
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Why can verbs with imperfective morphology have a perfective meaning?

Some languages, e.g., Russian (1), Bulgarian (5) or Greek, show perfective readings of morphosyntactically imperfective verbs: (1) Jakov ezdil na more dvazhdy za poslednij god. J. rode.IPF ...
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Can every language express any lexical aspect?

Wikipedia tells about the difference and relation between lexical aspect and grammatical aspect. Whereas the lexical aspect is a specific way to put focus onto how to observe an event on a semantic ...
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Evidentiality: Aspect or Modality?

I was curious about evidentiality. In Turkish, evidentiality can be seen as {-mIş} suffix, but English does not have any suffix to express. Take a look at this sentence: Babası ona yeni ayakkabı ...
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Articles and books on aspects

I am searching for a good book on different aspects, which would include different types of aspects, not just perfective and imperfective, but deductive, inferential, retrospective, inceptive and many ...
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Imperfective aspect or Future tense?

There is a suffix in Kyrgyz and I am not sure whether it denotes future tense or imperfective aspect. Are there any tests which can help me to distinguish between imperfective aspect and future tense?
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Alternatives to the Perfect Aspect

In English and (at least a portion of) other Indo-European languages the perfect aspect's foremost role is that of a discourse marker, marking prior events (or events beginning in the past and ...
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6 answers
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Why does English have progressive aspect but German does not?

In english there are two ways to express a present action: I go I am going However, In German there is really only one way to express a present action: Ich gehe If English is a ...
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Online Modern Greek dictionary that puts imperfective and ("dependent") perfective verb stems together?

Does anyone know of a good online Modern Greek dictionary that puts imperfective and perfective (also called "dependent") verb stems together? For instance, the present perfective of βλέπω /'vlepo/ "...
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Is there any difference between imperfect and imperfective aspect?

For those who came in late, "perfect" and "perfective" aspects are not the same. Perfect aspect pertains to actions that have been completed at the time referenced by the tense. So English past ...
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4 votes
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Grammatical Aspects

I am searching for two special types of grammatical aspects. an aspect that has a meaning of 'try or attempt' ex: he made an attempt to ask. an aspect that has a meaning of 'eventual or definitive' ...
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What aspect or feature do "over TIME" constructions have?

I have been searching around but as far as I can tell there is no established name for the aspect demonstrated by sentences such as: "I'll read this report over the weekend." "The debt has ...
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Are there any atelic ditransitive verbs (or verb phrases)?

I am wondering if there are any verbs/phrases that qualify both as ditransitive, and as atelic. The following shows the relevant tests. The satisfying verb/phrase should have the same * patterns as ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What is the name of the grammatical aspect conveyed by the English auxiliary "keep"?

All the English speakers in this group are familiar with the use of "keep" to convey persistent action, whether the action is repeated (He kept knocking the ball off the table) or maintained (The ball ...
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4 answers
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Is there a difference between a preterite and an aorist?

I am reading about aorist and preterite verb forms. It seems that they are both forms which express perfective aspect and past tense. Is the difference between them simply in differing terminology or ...
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How do languages with imperfect aspect typically convey distinctions between habitual, iterative, and progressive aspects?

How does languages with imperfect aspects typically convey distinctions between habitual, iterative, and progressive aspects? In English, which does not mark its verbs for imperfect aspect, we have ...
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9 votes
3 answers
648 views

Do languages with high use of grammatical aspect generally lack grammatical tense?

From my understanding of Chinese, the language lacks any sort of grammatical tense but is instead very aspect driven when describing actions. Is this a reoccurring pattern among languages with a high ...
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PIE Aspect: (Im)perfective or (Non-)progressive?

According to Wikipedia Proto-Indo-European had four tense-aspects, the first being stative and the latter three being eventive: stative aspect, perfective aspect, and past and present tense of ...
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2 answers
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What's the best term for the group of concepts pertaining to verbs which includes tense, mood, and aspect?

There are many named concepts which relate to verbs across many languages. The three most well known would be tense, aspect, and mood. But person, number, and voice are others, and there must be many ...
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What is permansive aspect?

I'm having a great deal of difficulty finding an adequate definition of "permansive aspect" on the web. I know what aspect is, more or less, but the meaning of the term "permansive" eludes me.
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6 votes
2 answers
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How does aspect condition an ergative split?

I've never heard of a natural language that has ergative-absolutive marking alone. From what I've read, languages with said marking also have nominative-accusative marking, with the choice or "split"...
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