Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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In New Persian, the aspecto-modal suffix -ē is a marker of counterfactuality and past habitual. It was frequently used in texts between the 10th and 16th centuries and did not disappear until the 18th century (earlier in some regions, depending on the dialect). However, in texts of the 15th century, -ē began to be replaced by the prefix mē-, which marks the concomitance, the present habitual, the frequentative-distributive and the continuative perfective. This article demonstrates that this replacement is not only morphological but that it also has a consequence for the reorganization of the aspectual and modal markings in New Persian: the replacement of -ē by mē- in all occurrences progressively leads to a loss of the marker’s first value of concomitance; it expresses all presents, concomitant and non-concomitant. The old unmarked present is marginalized and ends up expressing the subjunctive. This evolution is compared to the development described by different scholars about several unrelated languages.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): aspect; counterfactuality; mood; New Persian; past habitual
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