Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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This paper examines the development of the aspect systems in the Indo-European languages Vedic and Latin. Even though aspectual distinctions are central in the verbal systems of both of these languages at the beginning of their attested traditions, they undergo quite different developments in the course of their history. The Vedic verbal system instantiates a classic case of the development from aspect to tense, whereas Latin maintains an aspect-based verbal system, which survives in the Romance languages. The paper explores the semantic properties of the Vedic and Latin past tenses in some detail from two distinct perspectives: a neo-Reichenbachian model, where aspect is regarded as a type of relation between reference time and event time (cf. e.g., Dahl 20102015), and a model where aspect involves different types of partitive operators (cf. Altshuler 20132014). Although these two approaches may first appear to be in conflict, the paper attempts to show that they represent complementary perspectives highlighting different dimensions of aspectual meaning.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Aspect semantics; diachronic typology; Latin; semantic change; Vedic Sanskrit
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