Article published in:Interdependence of Diachronic and Synchronic Analyses
Edited by Folke Josephson and Ingmar Söhrman
[Studies in Language Companion Series 103] 2008
► pp. 149–165
Imperfectivity and complete events
Imperfectivity is cross-linguistically associated with the subinterval property and a modal component induced by the famous ‘imperfective paradox’. These properties arguably hold for both the progressive and habitual-iterative readings. However, both in Romance and Slavic, the imperfective may also refer to complete events instantiated in the world of evaluation: the so-called Imparfait narratif in French and the Factual Imperfective in Russian. I propose an analysis of viewpoint aspect in terms of temporal inclusion relations between the event time and the assertion time. Importantly, however, the source of the two complete event readings in question are quite different inasmuch as the Russian imperfective is unmarked and is used whenever the marked perfective aspect is inappropriate, while the French Imparfait is marked. This means that the French Imparfait retains its meaning of contemporaneity even when it has a complete event interpretation.
Published online: 29 August 2008
Cited by 3 other publications
Arregui, Ana, María Luisa Rivero & Andrés Salanova
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