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13 votes

Does English have [ inchoative aspect ]?

This is a case where we have to distinguish between the ability to express something in a language and the presence or absence of a grammatical structure dedicated to expressing that something. ...
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13 votes

Is there really a perfect tense?

Tense vs. aspect vs. mood Let's first clarify what the different categories mean in the first place: Tense is a category that locates events on a timeline. Distinctions between different tenses are ...
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13 votes
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habitual aspect in english

Saying that a language or language variety marks a grammatical category of "habitual aspect" implies that there is some construction that is dedicated to expressing habitual actions. "He works" uses ...
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12 votes

Why does English have progressive aspect but German does not?

In linguistics, “why” is usually a bad question. Actually, in several Indo-European languages the old present tense has died out completely and been replaced by the present participle plus copula. ...
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7 votes
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What's the difference between iterative and frequentative aspects?

Bybee, Pagliuca and Perkins 1996 put it very nicely. Here's what they wrote. Iterative "signals that an action is repeated on a single occasion and differs from the habitual and frequentative, which ...
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6 votes

Why does English have progressive aspect but German does not?

Actually, German has even more ways to express progressive aspect: Ich bin am Gehen (am-Progressiv, it becomes more and more accepted) Ich bin beim Gehen (competitor to am-Progressiv) Ich bin ...
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5 votes

Grammatical Aspect and Lexical Aspect

As luck would have it, I'm just preparing a talk on aspect at a conference. The problem, with your question is that you're looking at aspect in isolation. Your sentence (as a sequence of words) is ...
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5 votes

Can every language express any lexical aspect?

The distinction between lexical and grammatical aspect is not particularly relevant when it comes to cross-linguistic comparisons. Each language has a number of ways of describing events with respect ...
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5 votes

Articles and books on aspects

Specifically on aspect, Comrie's 1987 Aspect, 3rd printing, in the Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics series. To fit aspect into the framework of the rest of linguistic semantics, Frawley's 1992 ...
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5 votes

Imperfective aspect or Future tense?

The Max Plank Institute's Department of Linguistics has a few resources, including a questionnaire, for dealing with questions of tense and aspect. But as Dominik hinted, tense and aspect are a tricky ...
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4 votes

Imperfective aspect or Future tense?

You need to distinguish between tense, aspect and time reference. For instance, the English present continuous combines a present time reference with an imperfective aspect. However, it is often used ...
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4 votes

Why can verbs with imperfective morphology have a perfective meaning?

The examples you chose are not particularly fortunate but the problem you're alluding to is one commonly encountered when it comes to aspect or tense. For instance, present tense is often used to ...
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4 votes
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How can the perfective aspect apply to the present tense?

In English, at least, the ordinary simple present is imperfective; but there are genres in which a perfective use is common. In sports broadcasts, for instance: "He shoots, he scores!" describes an ...
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4 votes

Why is the verb "to need" and "to observe" always imperfective in Slavic languages?

I believe you are asking this question because you have read that the perfective is used for completed actions. This is perfectly true. But it is important to understand in what sense they are ...
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4 votes
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Do other languages have an "irreversible aspect"?

I have not heard of such a thing, but I have heard of similar things in other Bantu languages. Generally, when you investigate the pragmatics and semantics of a Bantu language's tense system, you will ...
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3 votes

Do auxiliary verbs always express different aspect/mood/tense?

No, auxiliary verbs don't always express something other than simple indicative. Yes, there are cases where a sentence with an auxiliary verb is in the simple indicative. For instance, "Hal is a ...
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3 votes
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Do languages with high use of grammatical aspect generally lack grammatical tense?

There is actually a chapter on perfective-imperfective aspect in the free online resource, The World Atlas of Language Structures, where this hypothesis is discussed and specifically rejected by the ...
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3 votes
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Do auxiliary verbs always express different aspect/mood/tense?

No, the use of auxiliaries is not directly linked to aspect, mood or tense in the first place. This may be so in some or many cases by coincidence when morphological or syntactic marking is not ...
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3 votes

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

They are quite similar, and you've isolated the main difference: semelfactive is once, iterative is many times. Although it is translated "aspect" here, it may not be a verbal property at all in some ...
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3 votes
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some basic questions about morphological aspect

Part of the difficulty in discussing aspect in English is that English is a tense-prominent language rather than an aspect-prominent language. So the main (and obligatory) grammatical marker on ...
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  • 5,416
2 votes

Grammatical Aspects

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 ...
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2 votes
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What is the name of the grammatical aspect conveyed by the English auxiliary "keep"?

I think iterative fits best, although durative is another possibility. The verb keep can express iterative and/or durative aspect, meaning that it indicates the repetition of an event or action that ...
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2 votes

Online Modern Greek dictionary that puts imperfective and ("dependent") perfective verb stems together?

As @hippietrail mentioned, Wiktionary does: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/βλέπω#Conjugation So does the Triantafyllides Institute's dictionary, which is the only one of the three major contemporary ...
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2 votes

Alternatives to the Perfect Aspect

Two common mechanisms are: Choice of tense, other than the perfect. Romance languages often use their imperfective past tense for narrative background and their perfective past tense (e.g. French ...
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2 votes

Why does English have progressive aspect but German does not?

This might be of interest: Early Contect between Celtic and English (https://www.uni-due.de/IERC/early_contact.htm( "The concern of the present section is with the development of the progressive form ...
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2 votes

Grammatical Aspect and Lexical Aspect

Unfortunately, there's been a lot of terminological variation and hence confusion in aspect studies (e.g. Sasse 2002 or Slabakova 2002). So, when you read any research on aspect, make sure you know ...
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2 votes

Grammatical Aspect and Lexical Aspect

In English the lexical aspect or aktionsart is not fixed for most verbs, but is context dependent instead. Present tense events are formed using the progressive aspect in English. A bare present/non-...
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2 votes

Grammatical Aspect and Lexical Aspect

Your students won't go far wrong if they follow the rule: For the present tense of a verb referring to an activity or a process (i.e., non-stative), use the progressive aspect. There is an exception ...
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2 votes
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Evidentiality: Aspect or Modality?

Evidentiality is very closely related to modality. It isn't related to aspect. But, morphemes very often combine multiple meanings, and they can form paradigms with semantically unrelated morphemes. ...
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