Edited by Robert Crellin and Thomas Jügel
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 352] 2020
► pp. 95–122
This article gives an overview of the most important similarities and differences in perfect constructions in modern Germanic languages. The focus is on the German present perfect form and its developments, which will be compared with the perfect constructions of English and Dutch (West Germanic) and Swedish (North Germanic) throughout. First, I introduce and compare the perfect forms in a selection of modern Germanic languages. I then focus on the emergence and development of the German perfect, before I compare the degrees of perfect expansion in the languages under investigation. In a final step, I investigate some of the consequences of the described processes: i.e. the loss of the German preterite form (Präteritumschwund), the emergence of the double perfect constructions in German substandard varieties, and the re-introduction of a semantic opposition in English.