Presentation on theme: "Forms of the Imperfective Most of the time, you can tell from the form of the verb whether it is Past, Present of Future. How can you tell by looking whether."— Presentation transcript:
Forms of the Imperfective Most of the time, you can tell from the form of the verb whether it is Past, Present of Future. How can you tell by looking whether a verb is perfective or imperfective? In many languages it is completely clear because there is a morpheme on the verb that marks the Perfective or the Imperfective beyond a shadow of a doubt. In English, the story is a bit more complicated, as we will now see.
Verb Classes Verbs can be divided into statives and non- statives (aka “eventive verbs”). There are quite precise formal definitions (and further subclassifications) of this distinction but intuitively here is a distinction: If the verb describes a state, it is a stative. If the verb describes an action/activity, it is non-stative.
Non-statives: throw, build, read, eat, develop, talk Statives: love, know, be+adjective (be asleep, be sick, be afraid, be tall) Some more examples of each class? In English: Statives: imperfective (or maybe perfective as well?) Non-statives: -imperfective: be +Ving (=the progressive) Ving = the progressive participle e.g. be throwing, be talking, be eating etc -perfective: “simple past” forms e.g. threw, talked, ate
Non-statives/eventives: 10. He ate a donutPast Perfective 11. He was eating a donutPast Imperfective 12. He will eat a donut 13. He will be eating it 14. He is eating a donut What T/A combination is missing? Many languages simply do not have this form. English is again a bit of an outlier. What would the Present Perfective look like? 15. He eats a donut What does (15) mean? How does it differ from (14)? And what about (16)? 16. He eats donuts Future Perfective Fut. Imperfective Pres. Imperfective Present Perfective. (Why?)
Let’s practice a bit. 17. Last week I read Anna Karenina Past Perfective: TT < UT, ST TT ____[ [ ST ] ]_________|_________ …….TT…………... UT | last week | 18. Next week I will read Anna Karenina Future Perfective: UT < TT, ST TT ________|_____[ [ ST ] ]______ UT..…….TT…………. | next week |
Here is (17) again: Past Perfective: TT < UT, ST TT 17. Last week I read Anna Karenina ____[ [ ST ] ]_________|_________ …….TT…………... UT | last week | What would the Past Imperfective look like? TT < UT, TT ST 18. Last week I was reading Anna Karenina ____[ [ TT ]____________|_________ UT
The Perfect ≠ the Perfective (it’s very unfortunate that in English those two terms sound so alike) 19. I ate a donutPast Perfective 20. I have eaten a donutPerfect -the verb have in the Perfect is called “auxiliary have”, as opposed to “main verb have”, as in I have a book. -we will represent verbs like eaten as ‘V+en’. (Perfect participle). Again it does not matter that the phonetic exponent is not always en: I have talked, I have sung. The Perfect can combine with the 3 tenses: 21. I have eaten a donut Present Perfect 22. I had eaten a donut 23. I will have eaten a donut Past Perfect Future Perfect
In fact, it combines with the 3 tenses and the 2 aspects! have +Tense V+en hadeaten Past Perfect be V+ing beeating Imperfective/progressive Have+ Past Be+en V+ing Past Perfect Progressive 24. I have been eating a donut 25. I had been eating a donut 26. I will have been eating a donut 21. I have eaten a donut 22. I had eaten a donut 23. I will have eaten a donut Pres. Perfect Progressive Past Perfect Progressive Fut. Perfect Progressive Pres. Perfect Perfective Past Perfect Perfective Fut. Perfect Perfective
But what is the difference between (27) and (28)?: 27. I ate a donut 28. I have eaten a donut In both cases, the event of eating the relevant donut is before UT. And what is the difference between (28) and (29): 29. I had eaten a donut So what is in your head about the Perfect?
The Perfect Time Span (PTS) The Perfect sets up a time interval. Let’s call it the “PTS”. Like all intervals, the PTS has a Left Boundary (LB) and a Right Boundary (RB). LB can be set by a number of things, e.g. an adverbial e.g. “since….”, “for….”, or contextually. RB is set by Tense The event(s) described take(s) place in PTS 30a. Since 1990, I have visited Cape Cod 3 times LB________x____x__________x____RB 1990 UT b. I have been to the Cape 3 times RB=?LB=?
31a. I visited him last Tuesday b. He had been to the Cape 3 times since the previous Wednesday ______LB____x____x___x____RB_______| Wedn. Tuesday UT 32. By next Monday, Bill will have visited the Cape 2 times What is LB? What is RB? Here is the timeline: _LB______________________________|_____RB Bill is born UT Monday Where are the events of visiting the Cape?