Note: This is the re-issue of a previously published book.
Laurel Brinton's important study of the development of English aspectual
systems provides an exceptionally clear and systematic account of an area
of syntax and semantics that continues to be the subject of both
terminological and notional confusion. Not only has the study of aspect
been confused, but the variety of aspectual markers in English has also
been unduly neglected. In this book Dr Brinton convincingly demonstrates
the need to make clear distinction between 'aspect' and 'aktionsart' and
betwen the aspectual meaning of individual forms and the meanings that
result from the combination of verbs, auxiliaries, particles, and adverbs,
as well as nominal arguments within a sentence. This exceptionally clear
account of two sets of aspectual forms points to the coherence and
systematicity of aspectual marking in Modern English. The wide range of
theoretical issues explored makes this a significant contribution to the
synchronic study of aspect and to the diachronic study of language change.
The book will undoubtedly have applications cross-linguistically.