perfect vs imperfect

Randall Buth ButhFam at
Sat Mar 24 11:31:36 EST 2001

>>> >(Holmyard)but they are aspects,
>>> in speaking of action as complete or incomplete. Thus both can be used
>>> past time or future time.<
>> but they are not 'pure' aspects, either. When talking about future
>> the prefix verb is not usually referring to the ASPECT of the event, to
>> "in-process, incomplete" event, rather it usually refers to an
>> complete (=perfective) event in the future. Thus YAVO is usually a
>> '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.

except when prefix is not "irrealis" but assumes reality, like with
or when suffix verbs are used with 'irrealis' 'if he had done it (but he
didn't)'. This is in the JOTT article, too.
Just to complicate matters.

shabbat shalom
Randall Buth

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