[b-hebrew] WAV Conjunction

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Tue Jun 8 10:49:22 EDT 2004


Ken,

Thanks for reproducing Comrie's definition of aspect. It certainly belongs to the old school mentality. I certainly think aspect is much more than what Comrie describes -- in Hebrew, anyway.

Best Regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
(Sydney, Australia)
Best Regards,


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ken Penner 
  To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 12:37 AM
  Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] WAV Conjunction


  > Also, there is more to aspect than what I mentioned. It is a 
  > little complicated to explain, and I am still working on ways 
  > to convey it to beginning students. It's a prickly one.
  > 
  > Does anyone else have any good simple explanation of aspect?

  The standard textbook on Aspect in general is B. Comrie's in the Cambridge
  Textbooks in Linguistics series. Here is a summary of his section on the
  definition of Aspect:

  Aspect, by way of contrast with Tense, is concerned with a different kind of
  time: internal rather than external. Let me explain: whereas Tense is
  concerned with relating the time of the situation to another time-point,
  Aspect is concerned with the internal temporal constituency of the
  situation. The basic aspectual polarity is between depicting an event as
  complete or in progress. The "perfective" aspect presents the situation "as
  a single unanalysable whole", in other words, a complete event, and
  "imperfective looks at the situation from inside," in other words, an event
  in progress. For example, in the sentence, "John read that book yesterday;
  while he was reading it, the postman came", the one event (reading the book)
  is presented using two temporal constituencies: first as a complete event
  "read", then as an ongoing event "was reading". 

  This may not be the best description of Aspect for Hebrew, but it is the
  standard for languages in general.

  Ken Penner, M.C.S. (Biblical Languages, Greek Focus), M.A. (Hebrew Poetry)
  Ph.D. (cand.), McMaster University
  pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
  Flash! Pro vocabulary software: http://s91279732.onlinehome.us/flash or
  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flash_pro/join

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