Article published in:Development of tense and aspect systems
Edited by Jadranka Gvozdanović
[Journal of Historical Linguistics 10:2] 2020
► pp. 167–208
The history of tense and aspect in the Sogeram family
This paper presents an overview of the tens-aspect system in the Sogeram languages of Papua New Guinea. Taking the Proto-Sogeram reconstruction in Daniels (2015, 2020) as a starting point, I outline the innovations that have taken place in daughter languages and discuss the patterns of change that emerge. The study confirms a variety of known cross-linguistic tendencies, such as the common occurrence of the analytic-to-synthetic and aspect-to-tense pathways of change. More notable trends include the diachronic stability of the present and most remote past tenses; the instability of the middle pasts and future; the stability of the relative semantic ordering of tenses; the absence of a pathway leading from relative-tense to absolute-tense marking; and the ability of innovative tenses to be inserted anywhere into the five-way tense system of Proto-Sogeram. The study also illustrates how featural systems can interact over time, at first by introducing a new feature value in one system which can combine with values from another (as with the Manat habitual), and then, if the featural distinction is lost, creating a pattern of distributed exponence (as in Mum).
Keywords: tense, aspect, comparative reconstruction, grammaticalization, Papuan languages, Trans New Guinea languages
Published online: 21 August 2020
[ p. 205 ]References
Andersen, T. David & John R. Roberts
Bybee, Joan & Östen Dahl
Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins & William Pagliuca
Caballero, Gabriela & Alice C. Harris
Daniels, Don, Danielle Barth & Wolfgang Barth[ p. 206 ]
Devos, Maud & Jenneke van der Wal
Estaji, Azam & Vit Bubenik
Foley, William A.
n.d. Nend Texts. Electronic files, Pioneer Bible Translators.
Hilpert, Martin & Christian Koops
Kalyan, Siva & Alexandre François
Kragh, Kirsten Jeppesen[ p. 207 ]
Kula, Nancy C.
Pawley, Andrew & Harald Hammarström
Reinöhl, Uta & Nikolaus P. Himmelmann
Roberts, John R.
n.d. Mum Texts. Electronic files, Pioneer Bible Translators.
de Vries, Lourens
n.d. Apalɨ Texts. Electronic files, Pioneer Bible Translators.
[ p. 208 ]
Z’graggen, John A.