perfect vs imperfect

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Thu Mar 22 13:03:56 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'.


Agreed.  That's why Hatav's work is so exciting.  By moving the 
main focus of the discussion out of the aspect realm and into the 
area of modality, she has resolved a lot of the problems associated 
with the aspect approach.  Hence, the suffix conjugation is "realis" 
mode and the prefix is "irrealis" which includes future.

Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated."  C. S. Lewis

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