A Practical Approach to Verbal Aspect in Hittite

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A Practical Approach to Verbal Aspect in Hittite

Post by cquiles » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:00 pm

A Practical Approach to Verbal Aspect in Hittite, by Harry Hoffner and H.C. Melchert

§1.1 Aspect in the broadest sense refers to the temporal structure of related events or situations, as opposed to tense, which refers the time of the related event to that of the speech event. We may define aspect in the narrow sense as a grammatical category that is fundamentally independent of the lexical meaning of individual verbs. For Hittite it is sufficient to distinguish imperfective aspect, in which an event is viewed as having an internal temporal structure, from perfective aspect, in which it is not. The inherent meaning of individual verb stems also implies a certain temporal structure or lexical aspect Recognizing that no classificatory scheme is fully adequate, we may usefully follow Vendler 1967 97-121 and Dowty 1979 54ff. in distinguishing verbs that express states ("to know", "to have"), activities ("to walk, work"), accomplishments ("to hitch up", "to drive across"), and achievements ("to die", "to arrive", "to take"). The realization of grammatical aspect as a particular manner of action (Aktionsart) in a given instance results from the interplay of context and the lexical aspect of the verb.

§2 The basic verbal stem in Hittite may be interpreted as perfective or imperfective according to context, the latter value being confirmed especially by the presence of accompanying conjunctions such as kuitman "while" and masiyanki "as many times as".
Carlos Quiles - Academia Prisca

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