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The interaction between tense and lexical and grammatical aspect. A comparative study of present-time marking in the verbal paradigm.

This project focuses on the interaction between time reference and classes of lexical aspect (actionality) and of grammatical aspect, from a cross-linguistic perspective. It starts from the observation that the actional features of a verb (e.g. the stativity, telicity, punctuality etc. of the situation designated) and its viewpoint aspect (perfective versus imperfective) often determine the way in which present-time reference is brought about. In many languages, stative and imperfective situations can readily be located in the present through the use of what may be called a present-tense marker. With dynamic and perfective situations, on the other hand, this marker will typically be given a non-present interpretation: past or perfect in some languages, future in other languages and in yet other languages a generic or habitual interpretation arises. This project intends to account for the problem of present-time reference with dynamic/perfectivized verbs, to describe in detail the strategies different languages employ to solve this problem, and to examine what the critical variables are in choosing a particular strategy. At the same time, more fine-grained aspectual and actional distinctions will be introduced than the ones employed in previous studies of this subject.
Date:1 Oct 2010 →  30 Sep 2012
Disciplines:Language studies, Linguistics