Aspect in Burmese

Meaning and function

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The book presents an overview of the aspectual system of Burmese, and it focuses on the analysis and description of the meaning and function of some aspectual markers which are among the most commonly used in the language. The analysis highlights a few important facts. Firstly, these markers, which typically follow the main verb within the verbal complex, derive from lexical verbs which are still in use in Burmese. This is an important descriptive factor, since the function of these markers can only be fully understood by looking at the interplay between the semantics of their lexical sources and the semantics of the verbs they modify. Secondly, it is the semantics of the aspectual markers that determines both their order vis-à-vis the main verb and their order vis-à-vis the other markers within the verbal complex. The interplay between the semantics and the syntax of these markers is analysed by adopting Role and Reference Grammar.

Subjects: Sino-Tibetan languages; Syntax; Semantics; Theoretical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Sydney/University of New South Wales

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