Grammatical aspect

The aspect (Latin, looking towards ') denoted in linguistics a verbal category that expresses the attitude of the speaker to the temporal structure of actions or events. In many languages, this category is realized morphologically besides tense and mood, that is, there are different Konjugationsendungen or certain master changes in the verb to show the aspect.

Languages ​​that do not realize the aspect morphologically to use other means to express the aspectual information. Thus, the aspect can also be expressed lexically ( by word suffixes such as " just as" or "always" ) or syntactically ( the progressive form in English and the use of auxiliary verbs).

From the aspect of the type of action, a distinction that is not grammaticalized as the morphological aspect. It is often purely lexically encoded, so action-type is also called lexical aspect.

Aspect and tense

In contrast to the tense (ie, the time step) refers to the aspect not to the time of the transaction relative to the moment of the statement (past, present, future), but on the way, how this process is considered.

The terms tense and aspect are not clearly separated from each other the same in all languages. This is due to that there are languages ​​in which the aspect of discrimination is morphologically expressed only in past tenses, so that the aspects coincide with the Tempus names. Other languages ​​differ morphologically only the aspect and do not know any basic categorization in time steps. In some other languages ​​time stages and aspects are systematically combined so that for each aspect, there are three time steps.

History of the term

Aspect is a loan translation of the Russian, Old Church Slavonic term видъ ( vid, Meletij Smotrićkyj 1619), which in turn goes back to the word εἶδος ( eidos ) of the Greek grammar of Dionysius Thrax v. from the 2nd century BC. He meant by this term, however, the morphological relationship between basic and derived form of a verb. In the western linguistics he found by French slavonicists around 1930 for the first time use.

Types of aspect

Imperfective aspect

The imperfective aspect (Latin imperfectum, unfinished ') considered an act without regard to their seclusion, ie a state which lasts for either ( durative ), is continuously repeated ( iterative) or usually takes place ( habituativ ).

According to the Greek tense that expresses this aspect ( Paratatikos ) is called in the context of the Greek this aspect also paratatisch.

Perfective aspect

The perfective aspect (Latin perfectum, completed ') considered an act as a whole or as completed, either in terms of a single event ( selective ) or on the beginning ( ingressive ) or end ( resultativ ).

After the tense that expresses this aspect in Greek ( aorist ), this aspect is also referred to as aoristischer aspect.

Perfektischer aspect

The perfektische aspect ( after the Greek Perfect Tense ) considered a completed action and the continuing resulting from it at the same result:

In grammars, which name the perfective aspect described above, otherwise (especially in grammars of the Greek ), the perfektische aspect is sometimes referred to as perfective.

The aspect in Modern Greek

The modern Greek language has not only get the three tense aspects of ancient Greek, but systematically extended to all time steps. Only in the present tense, perfective and imperfective aspect can not be distinguished morphologically, since it is logically impossible to describe an event of the present as complete - it would thus implicitly to a past event.

In the first example the frequent verb is used to see which is irregularly formed for the various aspects of two different root words, the present stem vlep ... and the aorist stem that is ... that is not perfect but synthetically inflected analytically implemented with an auxiliary verb Aparémfato:

  • Tha se dho AVRIO ( θα σε δω αύριο ) - " I'll see you tomorrow."
  • Tha se kathe mera vlepo ( θα σε βλέπω κάθε μέρα ) - " I'll see you every day."
  • Tha se écho dhi ( θα σε έχω δει ) - " I'll see you have [ ... and therefore know anything about it ] "

The second example uses a regular aorist form:

  • Tha sou grápso ( θα σου γράψω ) - " I will write to you [ once in this matter ]. "
  • Tha sou GRAFO ( θα σου γράφω ) - " I will write to you -. [ always, until you come back ] "
  • Tha sou écho grápsi ( θα σου έχω γράψει ) - " I will have written to you [ and the letter do you have in your hand ].

The aspect in the Slavic languages

The Slavic languages ​​share their verbs in finished and unfinished, expressing the perfective and imperfective aspect. These verbs each form a pair aspect, the aspect of each partner are usually derived from each other. The resulting two strains can be conjugated in all three stages with the exception of the perfective aspect of this can be no present tense form. The formation of aspectual verb forms from one another does not take place according to fixed rules. For the choice of verb form so you know what the associated unfinished or completed version is required. But there are some identifying features:

  • Verbs without a prefix are usually unfinished. By Prefixation they are completed, such as

However, it must be mentioned that the prefixation of the unfinished aspect usually one - brings meaning change with it, since the prefixes are usually used as a preposition itself - although sometimes minimal. Thus arises the Bulgarian write for the following aspect pair:

Write (more often )

Write (once)

However, the perfect aspect itself can also write ' mean. This is because that the prefixed form " напиша " formally composed of " на " and " пиша "; на means " on, at, in, on ."

  • Some formed by prefixation perfect verbs by insertion of suffixes behind the root (underlined in the following examples ) the unfinished mold made, for example,
  • Some aspect pairs consist of verbs with different word roots, such as

The use of aspect in the individual Slavic languages ​​varies slightly. So the consummate aspect in Czech in the set Země oběhne slunce jednou za rok " The Earth orbits the Sun once a year " is used here because it is considered the seclusion of action for a year and transferred to all other years. In Russian, the unfinished aspect would be, because there the repeated course of the action is in the foreground and therefore are in Russian at present no age requirement, but only in the past tense and the future tense here: Земля обращается вокруг Солнца за один год ( Zemlya obraschtschajetsja wokrug Solnza sa odin god ).

Some South Slavic languages, such as Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonian know both the aspectual verb stems as well as different aspectual past tenses such as the Greek or Latin languages ​​.

The aspect in the Romance languages

The distinctive aspect of perfective - imperfective past tenses of the Latin perfect ( which, however, could also express the perfect tense aspect ) and imperfect has received regularly in the Romance languages ​​. In some languages ​​, the historic, synthetically formed Perfect largely waned from the spoken language and was replaced by a periphrastic Hilfsverbbildung (usually referred to as compound past) replaced, but also expresses the perfective aspect. This composite shape takes but occasionally also perfektische or resultative meaning.

Examples from Italian:

In languages ​​that use the historical Perfect nor regularly, the periphrastic formation has also assumed other meanings, as in Portuguese, where the pretérito perfeito composto called a started in the past process that continues and will continue for, which also comes close to the perfect tense aspect.

The aspect in Semitic languages

In the verb system of Afro-Asiatic, and thus also of the Semitic languages ​​, the aspect is the essential category, the time delay was not originally expressed grammatically. So traditionally Perfect in Hebrew and Arabic and distinguished past tense, but no tenses, but the relevant aspects, respectively. The timer does not open up it from the context, but from the actual grammatical form. In the alternative, the present tense or future tense used in translation of these languages ​​for the perfective past tenses and the imperfective. example:

Aspect realization in English

The English language, the inflectional elements has largely lost, yet has a regular system to distinguish aspektualer categories, but these are purely time based. In English, has teamed up with the progressive form, the ( "to be" ) and the present participle active is formed with the auxiliary verb to be, a progressive, ie the straight as they take a course of conduct more significant aspect established, the English perfect with the auxiliary verb to have ( have ') denotes a still existing facts which began in the past, a kind of perfect tense aspect. Habituative forms with the design to use to (, tend to ... ') expressed.

  • I sang a song - "I sang a song " ( perfective )
  • I'm singing - "I sing just " ( progressive, present tense)
  • I was singing - "I was singing " ( progressive, past tense )
  • I will be singing - "I'll be singing " ( progressive, future)
  • I have been in the U.S. since ... - "I've been ... in the United States " ( in the perfect )
  • I have been singing since ... - "I am singing since ... " ( in the perfect progressive )
  • I used to sing before leaving high school - " Before leaving the school I [ usually ] sung " ( imperfective )

Other languages ​​with aspectual categories in the verb system

  • Bantu languages
  • Bodo
  • Burushaski
  • Caucasian Languages
  • Mongolian languages
  • Nilo -Saharan African languages
  • Sumerian