Towards an understanding of the progressive form in English: The Imperative as a heuristic tool

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The general aim of the study is an exploration into the meaning of a grammatical form and the proofs of its meaning. The scope of this study is the form referred to as the “progressive aspect” in English. The absence of an imperative progressive is used as a heuristic tool in the determination of the categoriality of the progressive. The study proposes that the primary function of the progressive form in English is not that of indicating the internal structure of the event, that is, an aspect, but rather of coding the clause as pragmatically dependent. Such clauses must be interpreted in connection with another proposition or time. The other proposition might be mentioned in the preceding or the following discourse. The time may be overtly coded in the same or in a different clause. If no time or other proposition is overtly coded, the clause containing the progressive form is interpreted with respect to the time of speech or the situation surrounding the speech event.


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