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Re: Aspect revisited

From:Mathias M. Lassailly <lassailly@...>
Date:Monday, November 16, 1998, 7:05
Jerry wrote :

> If it is fair to rephrase it as "he (has/had) stopped (his) running", > it would meet the condition for a perfective: the use of a form of > "have". If I diagram it in Vector Time Tense it comes out as a > perfective if the time of stopping is known or definite (constant, ke > or j); and as an imperfect if the time of stopping is unknown > (variable, zu) and was allowed to slide along the timeline to finish > at an unknown moment. "Imperfect does not connote completeness of > action at any specific time"- JBO. > It seems like an ambiguous tense. > > And yet I'm still not sure if I am correct in this. >
I don't know either but I do agree with you : perfect, perfective, progressive aspects etc. may attach to time vectors of either discourse (= tense), verb, auxiliary, case tag and argument and then they can attach to *process* integrated within argument from less to most integrated. So you may have aspect of the verb combined with aspect of auxiliary and aspect of argument in a sentence like : *I had finished completion of the preliminary works* ;-) Perfect is axed on *reference time* (not *reference tense*) but *perfective* is axed on the advent of a final state called *extremal*. Extremal may be already encoded inside a word (to see vs. to look // to learn vs. to know). So how many syntactic and semantic aspects can you count in the following sentences ? : I have learnt --- I stopped learning (interrupted progressive implied within main verb) --- I stopped to learn (no progressive implied within main verb) --- I have stopped learning --- etc. And this is for English. Japanese has a slightly different mapping because a lot of aspects shown within words in English are *transferred* onto auxiliary in Japanese like in : kuru (I come) --> kita (I arrive) // shiru (I get to know) --> shitteiru (I know). French is kind of funny because it mixes aspect and tense, which makes it more consistent than any other language ;-) Mathias ----- See the original message at