perfect vs imperfect

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Sat Mar 24 12:26:48 EST 2001

> >>> >(Holmyard)but they are aspects,
> >>> in speaking of action as complete or incomplete. Thus both can be used
> of
> >>> past time or future time.<
> >>(Buth) 
> >> 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'.
> >
> >[snip]
> >(Washburn)
> >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
> habituals.
> 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.
Hatav very effectively classifies habituals as modal as well.  Since I 
can't get my hands on the JOTT article, could you give an example 
or two of the irrealis suffix verb?

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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