Verbal Aspect

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Aspect, Verbal


a grammatical category of the verb in many languages which, in general, reflects certain types of the course of an action. The category of aspect in various languages is extremely diverse both in the semantic distinctions made and in the external forms used to express them.

In Russian and other Slavic languages there are two contrasting verbal aspects. The perfective aspect characterizes an action as a complete, indivisible act, as otkryt’ (“to open”). The imperfective aspect provides no indication of the completeness or finality of an action, as otkryvat’ (“to [be] open[ing]”), and describes an action in the very process of realization, as on kak raz otkryval okno (“he was just opening the window”), a repeated action, as ne raz otkryval (“he opened [it] more than once”), or action in general, as ty otkryval okno? (“Were you opening the window?”). Three verbal aspects were distinguished in ancient Greek: the aorist, which in many respects is similar in meaning to the Russian perfective; the present, which is similar to the Russian imperfective; and the perfect, which denotes the state that is a result of a previous action—for example, kektemai (“I have acquired” that is, I possess). In English a distinction is made between the so-called continuous and indefinite aspects. The continuous aspect denotes an action in the process of its realization at a specific moment, as “I am writing,” whereas the indefinite aspect denotes an action with no such specification of time.

Aspectual meanings are usually intertwined with temporal meanings. The formation of the category of aspect, the relationship between the categories of aspect and tense, and even the very existence of aspect are debatable in many languages. Verb formations that are not sufficiently grammatical and which, in particular, do not form regular oppositions within the range of a certain lexical meaning—for example, the so-called iterative aspect in Russian, as edal (“he used to eat”)—are sometimes treated as aspects. In such instances, modern linguistics speaks not of aspects but rather of the so-called modes of action—the iterative, inchoative (Russian zasverkat’ [“to begin to sparkle”]), attenuative (Russian polezhaf [“to lie down for a while”]), semelfactive (kol’-nut’ [“to prick”]), and so on.


References in periodicals archive ?
This research aims to expose power and ideological clash among government, provinces, and private business tycoons, on the issue of constructing corridor between China and Pakistan, with the help of grammatical aspect of discourse; which carries ideology and social perspective of different power agencies (Fairclough, 2006).
Four of six selected papers are in English, and they cover temporal adverbs in Akkadian, aspect in Biblical Hebrew imperative from a modern Slavic perspective, some thoughts on grammatical aspect in Modern Hebrew, and aspect and tense in Ethio-Semitic languages.
lexical or inner aspect) is often contrasted to grammatical aspect (also called viewpoint or outer aspect), one can admit, following Croft (2012: 32), that events do not have just an inherent aspectual type, but may be viewed from different aspectual perspective or viewpoints (for discussion on the interconnection of aspect and Aktionsart and the problems of their distinction see among others Stekauer, Valera & Kortvelyessy 2012: 28).
In section 3, we look at the grammatical aspect of the verb.
Grammatical Terminology Defined Grammatical Aspect Definition of Terminology Participants The element of the clause that identifies who or what is participating in the process of the clause.
This volume, which is a substantial revision of its author's 2001 dissertation, 'The Deictic Foundations of the Sumerian Language," is the first book-length treatment of the so-called "conjugation prefixes" in Sumerian to be published to date, and one of only a few detailed scholarly investigations of a specific grammatical aspect of Sumerian to appear in recent years.
However, the results in this article as well as those from Wagner's (2002) study of grammatical aspect morphology both find that children do not master the aspectual distinction before around age 5 when object-related information is given--in the absence of agency cues.
As with most other patterns in the book, Scott illustrates colligation, "the grammatical aspect of linkage," by means of WordSmith, his own concordancing program available through Oxford University Press.
Inflectional Phrase (IP) projected the grammatical features for tense, lack of tense, morphological agreement between the verb and the subject and, arguably, grammatical aspect and modality.
In tracing this decline, this wide-ranging work also treats some interesting themes in Leibniz (his idea of liberty), in Lavoisier (the grammatical aspect of chemical equations), and in a number of other thinkers.
The discussion around tense and aspect distinctions and their reflection in verb morphology revolves around three distinct linguistic categories: tense, grammatical aspect and lexical--or inherent--aspect.
Besides omitting aspect markers, the children with SLI seem to be less able to manipulate grammatical aspect independently of lexical aspect and to employ aspect markers context-sensitively in restricting the set of interpretations by expressing the speaker's viewpoint.