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15 votes
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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 ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

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 ...
brass tacks's user avatar
  • 18.3k
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. ...
Gaston Ümlaut's user avatar
9 votes

Is vav-consecutive unique to Hebrew?

As has been mentioned in the comments, forms corresponding to Biblical Hebrew wəqāṭaltí and wayyiqṭol exist in related languages. But these reflect a shared ancestor, or perhaps language contact, and ...
Keelan's user avatar
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5 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 ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
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 ...
David42's user avatar
  • 599
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 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
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 ...
Michaelyus's user avatar
  • 7,516
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 ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
  • 6,218
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 ...
Natalie Clarius's user avatar
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 ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
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 ...
hatlessacorn's user avatar
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 ...
Nick Nicholas's user avatar
2 votes

What is the relationship between perfectivity and the Classical Japanese conjunctive particle "-て" ("-te")?

While Shirane follows the traditional grammarian's account (in this as in everything else), according to linguist Bjarke Frellesvig's A History of the Japanese Language, the non-perfective, connective ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
2 votes

Question about habitual aspect and object licensing in English

Is it reasonable to assume that the habitual aspect in (4)-(6) contributes to licensing plural objects in these data? No. Your examples are not ungrammatical, and your question proceeds from false ...
Christian's user avatar
  • 199
2 votes

How are the meanings of "you will" in English formally categorized?

I don't know what you mean by "formally categorized" (and "official" is meaningless in this context). Will, like all modals, has a range of meanings, which broadly divide into ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 7,464
1 vote

Why grammaticalized perfective aspect marker is reduced to be used only in narrative style?

Some languages have a special tense used only or mostly for telling stories, like the Turkish -mış/-miş/-muş/-müş Reported a.k.a. Inferential Past tense (they say ...). Perhaps it's such kind of tense ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
1 vote

Describing continuity and change (like mou and mada in Japanese)

Yes, for example English as you pointed out in the question. Or Norwegian: "ennå" and "allerede". Or Dutch: "nog", and "al" Or Czech: "ještě" and "již" Or Mandarin: 還 and 已經 So basically it ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
1 vote

Why is participial clause tenseless?

Who are these linguists? What language are they talking about? In Sanskrit, Greek, Latin (to name but a few) participles have tense and agree with their antecedent in gender and number.
fdb's user avatar
  • 24.3k
1 vote

Is there a language where semantic aspect determines which tense is unmarked in a verb?

This is true for many old Indo-European languages because the present stem was often extended with infixed -e- (see the answer from @fdb with Greek peith-o, e-pith-o-n, pe-poith-a), but sometimes even ...
Eleshar's user avatar
  • 2,363
1 vote

Evolution of perfective aspect from Sanskrit derivational suffix -ka in Modern Indo-Aryan languages

Your presuppositions are faulty. Sanskrit kṛtaka is exactly what it is: a past passive participle from kṛ 'to do', followed by the adjectival suffix -ka. As such, it means 'the one who has been done'. ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
1 vote

Do perfectives have to be successfully completed?

A perfective predicate regards the action as a whole, and only subsets of that whole are regarded as imperfective. 'To need' is no different than 'to eat' in terms of whether you can consider ...
amI's user avatar
  • 666
1 vote
Accepted

Is pluperfect an aspect or a relative tense?

In Latin, the pluperfect would appear to be a combination of an aspect (perfect) and a tense (past). It is even sometimes called the past perfect. This is based off the fact that the pluperfect ...
Benjamin McAvoy-Bickford's user avatar
1 vote

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

A German counter-example is Er wird geschlagen where the auxilliary werden expresses the passive voice, but is clearly simple-indicative-present.
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
1 vote

Diagnostic for Finiteness

Look to see if it has a subject. Clauses with subjects are finite; those without subjects are nonfinite. This criterion was once proposed by my friend Stan Starosta. Works for me, for English, ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
1 vote

Why does English have progressive aspect but German does not?

German just continues the ancestral state. It shares that with the Scandinavian languages.There is little to explain there. German has a competing system with adverbs like "gerade", "weiter" and "los"...
Oliver Neukum's user avatar
1 vote

Why does English have progressive aspect but German does not?

That English may have borrowed this from Old French's use (before 17th Century) of the gerondif, e.g. est parlant, after being influenced by Celtic, only to have modern French in the 17th Century ...
Stanley Mulaik's user avatar

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