On 24/06/2013 15:17, Leonardo Castro wrote:
> 2013/6/24 R A Brown <[log in to unmask]>:
> [...]
>> Nor I - but analogy worked changes on the simple VL
>> system. Modern English now uses "have" as the only
>> perfect tense auxiliary; so, I believe, does
>> Portuguese.
> Yes, but I must add that Portuguese verbs "haver" and
> "ter" are completely interchangeable for this purpose and
> that this type of construction (have+participle) is
> rarely used with a sense of "perfectivity" in Portuguese,

Nor should they be in any language, in theory.  The
perfective aspect is quite distinct from the perfect aspect.
  I think it fairly safe to say that the periphrastic
constructions were (by and large) used with strictly perfect
aspect meaning in Vulgar Latin.

But in later western European languages the distinction
between the present perfect (e.g. I have shut the door
[that's why its closed now}), and the past perfective (I
shut the door yesterday) has become more blurred.  I notice
when my daughter visits from across the Pond that usage in
Britain and the USA differs    ;)

In spoken French the "passé composé" has now acquired both
meanings: Je suis allé = I have gone; I went.  The old past
perfect ("passé simple") is confined to the written language.

> but more frequently with a sense of something that is
> probably still being frequently repeated in the present
> (kind of "present continuous").

You mean with a meaning something like the so-call "perfect
continuous" in English, e.g. I have been digging the garden ?

"language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]