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Title: Tense and Aspect in Indo-Iranian Part 2: The Perfect, Futurate, Participial
Author(s): Eystein Dahl
Journal Title: Language and Linguistics Compass
Volume: 5
Issue: 5
Page Range: 282-296
Publication Date: May-2011
Abstract: In this paper I examine the semantic properties of the Indo-Iranian Perfect which was associated with the anterior or perfect aspect, of the simple Future, the Desiderative and Voluntative which were all associated with a futurate meaning as well as participial and periphrastic categories. In addition, I will highlight some open questions in this area.

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Basic categories and their (in)stability in Time   by Nikolaos Lavidas , 3-Jul-11
Basic linguistic categories and their (in)stability in Time ¶ In both articles (parts I and II), Eystein Dahl presents a complete picture of Tense and Aspect in Indo-Iranian, attempting a comparison with Ancient Greek and some conclusions with regard to the Indo-European Tense/Aspect system. ¶ Dahl assumes that the following aspectual categories should be distinguished: “neutral” should be regarded as an underspecified category, while the perfective and imperfective aspects are semantically specific categories; the anterior aspect represents the situation as completed prior to or coextensive with the reference time interval; and the resultative aspect represents the situation as completed prior to the reference time interval. With regard to Tense, Dahl argues that an “extended now category” (temporal interval extending from some point in the past and including speech time as its final subinterval) should be added to the present, past, and future tenses.
Dahl concludes that a comparison with Homeric Greek can suggest that an opposition between the neutral Present/Imperfect, the perfective Aorist, and the anterior Perfect was inherited from Proto-Indo-European. ¶ The whole discussion of the interaction between Aspect and Tense, and, probably, Aktionsart in diachrony poses the question of the instability of some basic categories in language. ¶ Moser (2008), for example, provides a picture of change for the development of Tense/Aspect in Greek, and adds the parameter of lexical aspect (Aktionsart) in the discussion: she argues that the verbal system of Greek started out as a morphological encoding of oppositions of lexical, not grammatical, aspect (stative vs dynamic, with the latter subdivided into telic and atelic), and it only later developed into a predominantly aspectual system, with the [±perfective] opposition expressed morphologically. ¶ Hence, the question of the sequence of emergence of aspectual categories appears to be of importance with regard to the correlations and interactions mentioned above: if the emergence of Aorist types preceded the emergence of Present types, the marking of the opposition between stative and dynamic verbs should be a very early opposition in language. It is then interesting to see if there is a similarity between the diachronic development and change with the categorization of verbs (for example, Moser observes a similarity between the development and Mourelatos’ (1978) categorization). If, according to Dahl, the initial system had three dimensions (the neutral Present/Imperfect, the perfective Aorist, and the anterior Perfect), then a diachronic development that follows (?) the verb categorization should be expected to distinguish the rest of the aspectual types (imperfective, resultative) in later periods. ¶ References ¶ Moser, A. 2008. “The changing relationship of tense and aspect in the history of Greek”. Language Typology and Universals (STUF) 61, 5-18. ¶ Mourelatos, A. 1978. “Events, processes, and states”. Linguistics and Philosophy, 2, 415-434.
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