[b-hebrew] WAV Conjunction

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Tue Jun 8 10:53:00 EDT 2004


I should make a correction to my "summary" of Comrie, to prevent anyone from
making the equation progressive=imperfective. Comrie does not actually
mention Progression as part of the definition of aspect. On page 7, Comrie
does indicate that the progressive/non-progressive opposition is comparable
to the imperfective/perfective opposition in English, but only in nonstative
verbs used without habitual meaning. So the phrase "in other words, an event
in progress" is an oversimplification on my part.

Ken Penner
McMaster/Hebrew

> 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". 




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