perfect vs imperfect

Randall Buth ButhFam at compuserve.com
Thu Mar 22 12:26:11 EST 2001


Message text written by "Harold R. Holmyard III"
>but they are aspects,
in speaking of action as complete or incomplete. Thus both can be used of
past time or future time.<

but they are not 'pure' aspects, either. When talking about future events
the prefix verb is not usually referring to the ASPECT of the event, to an
"in-process, incomplete" event, rather it usually refers to an aspectually
complete (=perfective) event in the future. Thus YAVO is usually a simple
'he will come' rather than 'he will be coming'.

The above is why Jouon mixed categories and called the suffix verb
'perfect' and the prefix verb 'future', to show the incomplete overlap with
either tense or aspect in the Hebrew verb.

maybe recommended that you consult ven der Merwe's new Reference grammar,
or my hard to get article "Hebrew Verb in Current Discussion" JOTT (SIL
1992). 
A lot of unnecessary, even unhelpful ink is spilt on this topic.

Randall Buth
Jerusalem



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