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Re: Invented (getting less lunatic by the second)

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Sunday, November 15, 1998, 18:01
Sally Caves wrote:
> Question for anybody else reading: > Are there any natlangs that don't make distinctions between ongoing and > finished acts in the passive? "It is cooked, it is being cooked."
IINM, archaic English was that way. Shakespeare couldn't say "it is being cooked", only "it is cooked". Of course, in Shakespeare's time, the progressive was still relatively new, for example, he had "what do you read?" in _Hamlet_ where the question was about what he was reading at that moment. I suspect that most languages with a progressive in the present would eventually develop a passive-progressive as well, but that's just a guess. -- "It has occured to me more than once that holy boredom is good and sufficient reason for the invention of free will." - "Lord Leto II" (Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert) ICQ #: 18656696 AOL screen-name: NikTailor