This book explores the thesis that in the Kwa languages of West Africa,
aspect and modality are more central to the grammar of the verb than tense.
Where tense marking has emerged it is invariably in the expression of the
future, and therefore concerned with the impending actualization or
potentiality of an event, hence with modality, rather than the purely
temporal sequencing associated with tense. The primary grammatical
contrasts are perfective versus imperfective. The main languages discussed
are Akan, Dangme, Ewe, Ga and Tuwuli while Nzema-Ahanta, Likpe and Eastern
Gbe are also mentioned. Knowledge about these languages has deepened
considerably during the past decade or so and ideas about their structure
have changed. The volume therefore presents novel analyses of grammatical
forms like the so-called S-Aux-O-V-Other or "future" constructions, and
provides empirical data for theorizing about aspect and modality. It should
be of considerable interest to Africanist linguists, typologists, and
creolists interested in substrate issues.