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On the development of actionality, tense, and viewpoint from Early to Late Latin

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Abstract

In Early and Classical Latin, verbal affixes indicate actional oppositions, such as non-dynamic vs. dynamic, atelic vs. telic, or the focus on the beginning or the end of a development or change. The tense system emphasises the relative sequence of events and sometimes it even distinguishes the normal past from the anterior past. There is a viewpoint opposition in all the forms of actionality and even in the indication of permanent states in the past. In Late Latin, several of the verbal affixes lose their actional functions and several previously transitive verbs become intransitive. The sensitivity to the relative sequence of events diminishes and there are major changes in the functions of the tense forms and a tendency to use the imperfective viewpoint, where Classical Latin distinguished the perfective viewpoint from the imperfective one.

References

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