It is a well-known fact that languages differ widely as far as their verbal systems are concerned. Some languages for instance, have very poor verbal morphology – like English or Chinese – whereas other ones overtly mark several subtle temporal and aspectual distinctions – like Russian and Greek, both Ancient and Modern. Temporal and aspectual properties, moreover, can combine with each other following certain patterns discussed at length in the literature. In this paper we consider a verbal form of the Armenian system, the aorist, that exhibits temporal and aspectual properties not easily fitting the “canonical” descriptions. We will see that its distribution might seem at first sight incoherent and show that only by means of a finer analysis it is possible to account for its characteristics in a uniform way. To this end, we compare the Armenian aorist with the English simple past and present perfect, on one side, and with the Italian passato remoto (simple past) and passato prossimo (present perfect), on the other.

Remarks on Temporal Anchoring: The case of the Armenian aorist

GIORGI, Alessandra;HAROUTYUNIAN, SONA
2011

Abstract

It is a well-known fact that languages differ widely as far as their verbal systems are concerned. Some languages for instance, have very poor verbal morphology – like English or Chinese – whereas other ones overtly mark several subtle temporal and aspectual distinctions – like Russian and Greek, both Ancient and Modern. Temporal and aspectual properties, moreover, can combine with each other following certain patterns discussed at length in the literature. In this paper we consider a verbal form of the Armenian system, the aorist, that exhibits temporal and aspectual properties not easily fitting the “canonical” descriptions. We will see that its distribution might seem at first sight incoherent and show that only by means of a finer analysis it is possible to account for its characteristics in a uniform way. To this end, we compare the Armenian aorist with the English simple past and present perfect, on one side, and with the Italian passato remoto (simple past) and passato prossimo (present perfect), on the other.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/30192
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