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Semantics for Translation Students



Ali Almanna

This book is an introduction to semantics for students and researchers who are new to the field, especially those interested in Arabic–English translation and Arabic–English contrastive studies. The book first presents key concepts in semantics, pragmatics, semiotics, syntax and morphology and gradually introduces readers to the central questions of semantics. These issues are then analysed and discussed in conjunction with the act of translating between Arabic and English. Seeking a balance between theoretical developments and empirical investigation, the book thus provides both a systematic overview of semantics and an application in the field of English and Arabic contrastive semantics, hence offering a resource for students and teachers of Arabic–English translation.


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Chapter 5: Tense and Aspect


Chapter 5 Tense and Aspect Key terms • Aspect • Atelicity • Perfect aspect • Perfect progressive aspect • Progressive aspect • Simple aspect • Telicity • Tense The previous chapter looked into infixes, prefixes, and suffixes in Arabic and English. This chapter gives full consideration to tense and aspect in a direct link with the actual work of the translators. 5.1 Tenses versus aspects Both “tense” and “aspect” refer to time. So, what is the difference between them? Although both of them “convey temporal information about a described event or state of affairs”, tense refers to when an event or situation happens, thus locating the described event or state of affairs on the timeline: past, present, or future (Kearns 2000/2011: 176). However, aspect refers to how a described event or situation happens. In English, for instance, there are four types of aspect, viz. “simple aspect”, “perfect aspect”, “pro- gressive aspect”, and “perfect progressive aspect” (cf. Celce-Murcia and 66 Chapter 5 Larsen-Freeman 1999; Griffiths 2006; Kearns 2000/2011; Kreidler 1998). To illustrate, the following sentences may be discussed: I eat an apple in the morning. I am working in this company. I have waited for you. I have been teaching at this university for two years. Example Tense Aspect I eat … simple present tense simple aspect I am working … present continuous tense progressive aspect I have waited for … present perfective tense perfect aspect I have been teaching … present continuous perfect tense perfect and progressive aspect As can be observed, all these examples are in the present tense as they...

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