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Building Up Aspect

A study of aspect and related categories in Bulgarian, with parallels in English and French


Maria Stambolieva

This book addresses the problems of the nature of the category of aspect, its formal expression and its relation to Action modes, to the Aorist/Imperfect and Perfect/Non-Perfect distinctions. The discussion is largely based on data from Bulgarian – a Slavonic language where aspect as a grammatical category systematically coexists not only with verbal prefixation, but also with temporal boundedness, correlation and, in the nominal sphere, definiteness. Cross-language parallels with English and French data and the mapping of Bulgarian structures to notions drawn from the «western» tradition of aspectual study result in the outline of a framework for an integrated study of the expression of aspectuality in languages belonging to different language groups. Refuting existing views of aspect as a «compensatory» phenomenon for nominal definiteness, the book presents arguments in favour of a systematic relation between verbal prefixation and NP quantification in Slavonic languages and of a compositional, syntactic dimension of aspectual analysis.
Contents: Bulgarian language – The Slavonic category of aspect – Perfective and imperfective verbs – The notion of change in interval semantics – The «stative» verb, aspect and action mode – Aspect and tense – The aorist/imperfect distinction – The aspect/temporal boundedness distinction – Aspect and quantification – Action mode and syntactic structure.