LINGUIST List 10.1244

Thu Aug 26 1999

Qs: 19th Century Lang Views, Tense & Aspect

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  1. 00hfstahlke, 19th c. views of language
  2. hassan makhad, tense and aspect

Message 1: 19th c. views of language

Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 13:22:29 -0500 (EST)
From: 00hfstahlke <>
Subject: 19th c. views of language

A doctoral student in our composition and rhetoric program has
approached me for readings on 19th c. attitudes towards language. He
has in mind the ideologies behind the development of artificial
languages, understandings of the relationship of language and culture,
and the influence of Romantic Nationalist movements. I'd appreciate
any references people might provide, and I will assemble a list of
these to post later.


Herb Stahlke
Ball State University
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Message 2: tense and aspect

Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 18:14:32 GMT
From: hassan makhad <>
Subject: tense and aspect

Dear list members,

I am investigating the syntax of tense and aspect systems in Berber (and 
othr languages). I have come across an amazing situation with regards to the 
interaction between tense and aspect in Tashlhiyt Berber (TB) and Moroccan 
Mrabic (MA). Let me try to explain my story. Well, normally, perfective 
aspect is associated with past tense forms of verbs, while imperfectivity 
is related to present and future tenses. But look at the following examples:
Is n-dd-a Sbah s-lbher ? (Tashlhiyt Berber)
is-it we-go-perfe. tomorrow to-the-sea
"Are we going to the beach tomorrow ?"

wash mshi-na ghdda l-lbher ? (moroccan arabic)
is-it go(perfe)-we tomorrow to-the-sea
"Are we going to the beach tomorrow ?"

It is clear in both examples that perfectivity cooccurs with future. The 
perfective n-dd-a in (1) and mshi-na in (2) are respectively compatible with 
both "sbah" and "ghdda" which indicate future (time/tense).

However, This cooccurence is impossible in affirmative forms like:


n-dd-a *sbah/idgam s-lbher (TB)
we-go-perf. tomorrow/yesterday to-the-sea
"We went to the sea yesterday"


rad n-ddu sbah/*idgam s-lbher.
fut. we-go tomorrow/yesterday to-the-beach
"We are going to the beach tomorrow."


mshi-na lbareh/*ghdda l-lbher (MA)
go(perf)-we yesterday/tomorrow to-the-beach
"We went to the beach yesterday."


ghadi n-mshi-w ghdda/lbareh l-lbher
fut. we-go-we tomorrow/yesterday to-the-beach
"We will go to the beach tomorrow."

I noticed that the same situation happens in English (what is called polite 


Should/could/might you give me a call tomorrow?

Given this situation, is there some kind of a relation between (C)/(question 
formation) and temporal categories, the heads T and Asp?

Can you please tell me if similar situations occur in other languages?

The other thing I would like to know about is whether there are some lists 
of research groups on tense and aspect and/or the minimalist program.

Thank you very much for your efforts.

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