Development of periphrastic tense and aspect constructions in Irish and Welsh
This paper offers a qualitative and quantitative study of the development of periphrastic tense and aspect constructions in the Irish language. It is argued that the modern periphrastic perfect construction arose to fill a gap left in the tense marking system by the generalization of the former perfect to preterite senses. It is suggested that this development was facilitated by the evolution of a periphrastic, prepositional progressive, which grammaticalized to specify the aspectual differences in continuous aspect marking. A similar development is envisaged for the comparable, but not identical, Welsh aspectual system.