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Mark J. Reed wrote:
> Perfective continuous = oxymoron.
> 
> But perfect continuous = fine.

Exactly.

[snip]

Basically, I agree with all the snipped stuff.

Trask refers to 'perfective' and 'imperfective' as 
_superordinate_ aspectual categories.

He does, however, call the prefect an aspect: a state 
resulting from an earlier event. This is how the perfect 
"tenses" were used in Classical Greek.

But categorizing it is a bit tricky. It's not just the 
'black box' of the perfective; on the other hand, we are not 
looking _inside_ the black box as we would be for the 
imperfective or any of its sub-categories. But we do have to 
consider what preceded the black box. Thinks: I really ought 
to read Comrie on this.

> Of course, an utterance can be both perfect and perfective: compare "I
> arrived"  with "I have arrived".  Both are perfective, but the second
> one is also perfect.

I think this is a confusion caused by modern English where 
the two forms often have much the same meaning (the same 
thing was happening in Koine Greek, which led to the old 
perfects eventually being dropped altogether).

Indeed, I notice when my daughter, who has lived in the 
States for many years now, comes over her use & mine often 
differ, especially in things like: "Did you tell him yet?" 
[hers] ~ "Have you told him yet?" [mine].

If "I have arrived" means more or less "I arrived [in the 
not too distant past]" then it is really perfective. It is 
only strictly perfect, if it refers to a _present_ 
situation, i.e. it means "I am here [because I got off my 
backside and came]"

The unfortunate thing, of course, is that we're stuck, for 
historical reasons, with both _perfect_ and _perfective_ 
meaning quite different things - which is quite often a 
source of confusion   :(

-- 
Ray
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