Marking anteriority, perfect and perfectivity in languages of mainland Southeast Asia – concepts, linguistic area

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As a result of language contact, Southeast Asian languages belonging to differentlanguage families share features, such as phonemic tone and numeral classifiers.Similarities between Southeast Asian languages in the frequency of explicittemporal marking, and the reference to spatial and temporal relations withmarkers related to motion verbs might be also the result of language contact.Descriptions of markers of Southeast Asian languages that express temporalrelations, differ in the literature due to their polysemy and due to theapplication of seemingly universal categories to the description of languagespecific concepts.This paper discusses universal categories and polysemy before presentingand comparing those grammatical markers of Burmese, Lao, Thai andVietnamese that are associated with the marking of the categories past, anteriority,perfect or perfectivity.


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