Edited by Bridget Drinka
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 350] 2020
► pp. 273–292
This paper focuses on the long-term grammaticalization of tense/aspect systems in the West Iranian languages, beginning with Old Iranian (Section 1). In Middle Persian (Section 2) the Aorist and the reduplicative Perfect of Old Persian were replaced by a new system of analytic constructions. The fundamental mechanism in the rise of the innovative Preterit (perfective) and Perfect categories was the process of grammaticalization, reducing the auxiliary ‘be’ into suffixes of the innovative Preterit. In Early New Persian (Section 3) an unambiguous Perfect was recreated by attaching personal suffixes to the Perfect stem. In the second part of the paper (Section 4) we turn to the elaboration of the evidential (‘non-witnessed’) subsystem in New Persian through grammaticalization and possible Turkic influence. A typological parallel in the southernmost Slavic languages (Section 5) is provided.