Questions tagged [perfect]

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2answers
1k views

When did Spanish develop perfect aspect?

Latin and many other Romance languages do not have perfect aspect, but Greek has perfect aspect and Iberia was a land for Ancient Greek colonies. So how and when Spanish integrates perfect aspect into ...
2
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0answers
53 views

What was the role of “compound” verbs in Middle English?

I was just reading a book where it is said that when perfect started to acquire modern meanings, "compound" verbs appeared. Here are some examples (I`m assuming with "compound" verbs on the right): ...
0
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1answer
143 views

Periphrastic verb forms in Gothic

What periphrastic verb form are attested in the Gothic language, the oldest Germanic language we have substantial records from? Skimming through a grammar of Gothic I found that for the past tense ...
10
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3answers
328 views

Where did the use of the two auxiliaries in the Romance languages come from?

Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French all have a (compound) perfect tense, which I find curious, given that Latin did not. (You can alternatively perhaps say that it is either united with the ...
1
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2answers
724 views

What languages have a Perfect Imperative and what is the meaning of such a tense-mood combination?

I self-studied Greek long ago, and I found this Perfect Imperative. Now all the Greek grammars I looked at just throw it at you, expecting you to either completely ignore or downright not have what ...
9
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1answer
889 views

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'...
5
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2answers
153 views

Does the Perfect in addition to its perfect meaning also denotes perfective / imperfective / either meaning (in English and Spanish)?

Just to note that I'm well aware as to the difference between the perfect and perfective aspects. Up until recently I though that the Perfect aspect can denote (in addition to its perfect aspect ...
1
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2answers
223 views

How verb tenses evolve

I have two questions on this topic. The firstmay be too general, but basically, I am curious as to how tenses evolve and whether tenses between languages can be used to help find out whether languages ...
2
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2answers
215 views

Oddity with the English perfect

Consider the sentence: She is believed to be the best female golfer alive. From this the listener infers: Some people believe that she is the best female golfer alive. Now, take a look at another ...
2
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4answers
194 views

Is the English perfect really monosemous?

The perfect in English has many faces: (1) I have done my homework. (2) I had already done my homework by then. (3) If I had done my homework yesterday, I would come with you. (4) Having done my ...
4
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2answers
493 views

Why is 'be' sometimes the auxiliary verb for the present perfect?

1. Why do these 16 verbs require être as the auxiliary verb, to form the passé composé in French? 2. Abbreviated as DMPRRS, these 6 (of the 16) are ambitransitive. When transitive, their auxiliary ...
11
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6answers
563 views

How did the same perfect-tense structure become so widespread in Europe?

In many Germanic and Romance languages, the perfect tense is formed with the verb 'to have' or 'to be' plus a past participle. It's easy to find explanations ["I have an arrow (which is) made (by me)"...
3
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1answer
130 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
494 views

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 ...