On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 12:23 AM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Eugene Oh wrote: >> >> Does anyone have any comments on his suggestion of "retrospective" as a >> replacement for "perfect"? He is on this list IIRC so he probably could >> respond. (: My personal reservation is that it is too redolent of "past >> tense". > > I think it really would be helpful if 'perfect' could be dropped as an > aspectual label and that, like "imperfect" it was used only as a label for a > 'tense' (i.e. a tense-aspect) in particular languages. But I don't > particularly like 'retrospective'; while that reflects on the past > events/action that led to the current situation, it seems to me that the > main thrust of the aspect is the resulting _current situation_. But, i must > confess, I can't think of an obvious alternative. Denouementive? (Oh god, that's horrible, never mind) > In both the ancient & modern language _tense_ differences, in the strict > sense of the word, are found only in the indicative mood. The other moods - > subjunctive, imperative and (in the ancient language) optative - and the > non-finite parts, i.e. the participles & infinitives (almost entirely absent > in the modern language) do not exhibit tense, only aspect. I find Palmer's theory that the optative is really just the past tense of the subjunctive interesting. Unfortunately I don't have the book handy at the moment, or I'd quote it. It has to do with the optative showing up where you'd expect a subjunctive in past tense contexts, similarities in conjugation, and his theory of the "modal-past", where past tense is used to suggest remoteness (which is also how he analyses English "will"/"would").