beginning in the imperfective

From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Tue Aug 12 1997 - 09:25:47 EDT

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)

Dear Mari,

I appreciate your statement that your model allows the beginning to be
included in the imperfective aspect. I thought you had said so but could
not find your statement when I wrote my last post.

To avoid any misunderstanding about my model I add this short note: Two
parameters are used to distinguish between perfectivity and imperfectivity,
namely scope/focus and the end. The imperfective aspect is a closeup view
of a part of an event or a state before the endpoint with details visible.
The only situation where the end of an event is included is the resultative
one where the event results in a state. The end of the state, however, is
not visible, therefore the end of the situation (event + state) is not
included. The perfective aspect is a view from some distance where both
endpoints are included but the details are not visible. In some states only
the beginning is included and only a large part of the state is focussed
upon, not including the end.

 If I have understood you correctly, the end is also in your model a/the
most important distinguishing factor.


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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