Tense and Aspect Definitions (To Rolf)

From: Rolf Furuli (furuli@online.no)
Date: Fri Mar 12 1999 - 01:32:12 EST

jonathan robie wrote:

<One quick comment: I believe that Mari's definitions of time and aspect in
<terms of Reference Time, Event Time, and Discourse Time come fairly
<directly from Comrie. The tests she has developed for objectively
<determining tense and aspect are her own, and a very creative and useful

Dear Jonathan,

We both are fans of Mari, and it is correct that Mari takes Comrie as a
point of departure. However, she has manged to make a much easier system
than the one Reichenbach suggested i 1949 and which was continued by
Comrie. This she does by suggesting that the concept "relative time" is not
necessary, and she says that much of what Reichenbach and Comrie applied to
relative time, should rather be applied to aspect. There is also another
difference with Comrie. He suggests that in the perfective aspect the event
time is viewed as a whole (as a "blob") whike Mari insists on the coda
accentuation. This is quite important, and should be taken into
consideration by those trying to come to grips with aspect.


Rolf Furuli
Lecturer in Semitic languages
University of Oslo

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