The tense-aspect system of Khorchin Mongolian

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Khorchin, a Mongolian dialect spoken in eastern Inner Mongolia, has a tense-aspect system slightly simpler than Middle Mongol and considerably simpler than Central Mongolian dialects (Khalkha, Chakhar). While it can express the time stability of ongoing events with many nuances, present habitual and generic events are not distinguished. The existence of a present perfect category is doubtful, but in any case it doesn’t extend to the past as participle-copula-combinations are impossible. Evidentiality was lost in the central verbal system, but a non-obligatory quotative/hearsay marker exists. This article is an attempt to fit these phenomena into a coherent system of tense, aspect and related notions and to explore some of its diachronic implications.


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