Chapter published in:Tense, Aspect, Modality, and Evidentiality: Crosslinguistic perspectives
Edited by Dalila Ayoun, Agnès Celle and Laure Lansari
[Studies in Language Companion Series 197] 2018
► pp. 281–308
The different grammars of event singularisation
A cross-linguistic corpus study
This chapter is an empirical investigation into the expression of bounded single situations across four languages, based on a parallel corpus (Camus’s The Stranger and translations into English, Russian, Hungarian). Smith (1991)’s two-component theory of aspect, whereby situation aspect combines with viewpoint aspect to compute the aspectual composition of sentences, is used to highlight cross-linguistic differences. In the original, the French passé composé appears as perfective in the sense of Smith (1991) and Klein (1994) while the English simple past is aspectually ambiguous (perfective and imperfective). Russian relies on a morphosyntactic construction (prefix + bare verb) to create perfective verbs, while Hungarian has similar morphosyntactic resources, but no grammatical aspect.
Keywords: aspect, single situations, coercion, prefixation, verb classes
Published online: 02 August 2018
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