Re: beginning in the imperfective

From: Mari Broman Olsen (
Date: Mon Aug 11 1997 - 11:08:35 EDT

> At 09:35 AM 8/11/97 -0400, Mari Broman Olsen wrote:
> >As I tried to make clear in previous messages, I allow the beginning
> >to be included (but not require it, hence whether it is or not is
> >pragmatic, rather than semantic). Exclusion of the beginning is one
> >of the weak points of Carlota Smith's (The Parameter of Aspect, 1991)
> >analysis.
> Let me try to interpret this: as I understand it, you say that the imperfect
> does not, in itself, include the beginning, but it does not exclude it
> either, and the remaining context may cause the force of an imperfect verb
> to include the beginning as well as the ongoing activity.
> Is this an accurate portrayal of your views?

Yes. Specifically, note the asymmetry of the nucleus-coda structure:
there is no analog to the 'coda', i.e. the end. The beginning is
simply left unspecified. THis contrasts with views of lexical aspect
that articulate more of a structure, up to five parts (Alice Freed,
1979, The semantics of English aspectual complementation. Dordrecht:


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:25 EDT