Aspect: An Introduction to the Study of Verbal Aspect and Related Problems

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 3, 1976 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 142 pages
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An introduction to the general linguistic study of aspect. Topics covered include the relation of tense and aspect, the morphology and the semantics of aspect, and structuralist and philosophical approaches. Dr Comrie draws his examples particularly from English and the Slavonic and Romance languages, but also from Arabic, Chinese, Welsh, Greek and a variety of others. This is the first study of aspect, considered as a general linguistic phenomenon. It is intended for students of individual languages as well as for students of linguistics.
 

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Contents

Perfective and imperfective
16
112 Perfectivity and other aspectual values
21
12 Imperfective
24
121 Habitual
26
1211 Habitual and other aspectual values
30
122 Progressive
32
Aspect and inherent meaning
41
22 Telic and atelic
44
512 Combined tenseaspect morphology
94
52 Syntactic expressions of aspectual oppositions
98
5212 Contingent state
103
5213 Direction and aspect
106
5221 Perfect and inferential
108
Markedness
111
61 Markedness and semantics
112
62 Markedness and morphology
114

23 State and dynamic situation
48
Perfect
52
31 Types of perfect
56
312 Experiential perfect
58
313 Perfect of persistent situation
60
32 Perfect and other aspects
61
33 Prospective aspect
64
Aspect and tense
66
42 Aspectual distinctions restricted to certain tenses
71
43 Narrative present
73
44 Combined tenseaspect oppositions
78
45 Aspect and time reference in tenseless languages
82
46 Aspect and voice
84
Formal expression of aspectual oppositions
87
511 Prefixing in BaltoSlavonic Georgian and Hungarian
88
63 Neutralisation
116
65 Markedness and context
118
66 Degrees of markedness
122
Language guide
123
A2 Aspectual systems of individual languages
124
A22 Slavonic
125
A23 Romance
126
A24 Greek
127
A25 Chinese Mandarin
128
Recent approaches to aspect
129
B2 Feature analysis
130
B3 Modeltheoretic semantics
132
References
134
Index
139
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Page 4 - Another way of explaining the difference between perfective and imperfective meaning is to say that the perfective looks at the situation from outside, without necessarily distinguishing any of the internal structure of the situation, whereas the imperfective looks at the situation from inside, and as such is crucially concerned with the internal structure of the situation...
Page 3 - As the general definition of aspect, we may take the formulation that 'aspects are different ways of viewing the internal temporal constituency of a situation
Page 3 - The second verb presents the totality of the situation referred to (here, my entry) without reference to its internal temporal constituency: the whole of the situation is presented as a single unanalysable whole, with beginning, middle, and end rolled into one...
Page 5 - Aspect is not concerned with relating the time of the situation to any other time-point, but rather with the internal temporal constituency of the one situation; one could state the difference as one between situation-internal time (aspect) and situation-external time (tense).
Page 12 - perfective ' contrasts with ' impcrfective ', and denotes a situation viewed in its entirety, without regard to internal temporal constituency; the term 'perfect' refers to a past situation which has present relevance, for instance the present result of a past event (his arm has been broken).
Page 4 - The other forms, ie those referring to the Situation of John's reading, do not present the Situation in this way, but rather make explicit reference to the internal temporal constituency of the Situation.

References to this book

Pragmatics
Stephen C. Levinson
Limited preview - 1983
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