Tense and Aspect in Indo-European Languages

Theory, typology, diachrony

John Hewson | Memorial University of Newfoundland
Vit Bubenik | Memorial University of Newfoundland
ISBN 9789027236494 (Eur) | EUR 130.00
ISBN 9781556198601 (USA) | USD 195.00
ISBN 9789027275974 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
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This monograph presents a general picture of the evolution of IE verbal systems within a coherent cognitive framework. The work encompasses all the language families of the IE phylum, from prehistory to present day languages.
Inspired by the ideas of Roman Jakobson and Gustave Guillaume the authors relate tense and aspect to underlying cognitive processes, and show that verbal systems have a staged development of time representations (chronogenesis). They view linguistic change as systemic and trace the evolution of the earliest tense systems by (a) aspectual split and (b) aspectual merger from the original aspectual contrasts of PIE, the evidence for such systemic change showing clearly in the paradigmatic morphology of the daughter languages.
The nineteen chapters cover first the ancient documentation, then those families whose historical data are from a more recent date. The last chapters deal with the systemic evolution of languages that are descended from ancient forbears such as Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, and are completed by a chapter on the practical and theoretical conclusions of the work.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 145] 1997.  xii, 403 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“The Scholarship displayed is impressive, and the book, with its masses of data, should serve usefully for many years both as a reference work and as a bibliographical guide.”
“[A] brilliantly detailed survey of the development of tense and verbal aspect systems in just about every branch of the Indo-European language family and over almost all of its four millenia of recorded history.”
“[A] useful reference book for the older tense-aspect systems of the Indo-European languages.”
“The book holds much of interest for the general Indo-Europeanist and theoretician alike, and will certainly find service as an important reference work.”
“This is an important study, both for the conceptual framework it proposes for the analysis of tense and aspect and for the wealth of data it discusses.”

Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  97004482