Re: (longish) The Mysterious Disappearance of Verb Aspect

Date: Wed Apr 15 1998 - 14:14:31 EDT wrote:

> So I have learned something important here. Neither the present
> imperative nor the aorist imperative specify which future time their
> action is to take place, and thus aspect issues are all that are
> left. Because there are only TWO aspects, the aorist in this
> grammatical construction has perfective aspect. And this, I hope,
> succintly states the thrust of Carl's understanding, from which he
> concludes that the aorist has past perfective aspect and past force,
> thus giving the aorist its past time denotation.

I am sorry to re-raise this thread, but I am wrong in the above
statement. Even in the [future] imperative, the aorist does not
specify either imperfective or perfective aspect, let alone time, as
the following illustrates.

"When I count to three, young man, you had better be washing that
car!" [present (imperfective)imperative]


"When I count to three, young man, you had better wash that car!"
[aorist, non-aspectually-specific, and most certainly not perfective]

You see, the context provides the time and here imperfective aspect of
the aorist 'wash'.

I'll let this alone now...


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