1887
Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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Abstract

While some languages appear to have dedicated mirative constructions, others convey mirative meanings through originally “non-mirative categories which acquire mirative meanings in a given context” ( Aikhenvald, 2012 , p. 462). Such mirative extensions of existing constructions have been observed and analyzed at length for evidentials, yet this paper demonstrates that mirative meanings can also be conveyed through certain aspectual constructions, specifically those that select event verbs. A detailed discussion of various aspectual constructions in diverging languages shows that progressive, perfect and perfective aspect markers often prompt mirative interpretations of surprise, novelty or incongruity. I claim that these mirative features are a consequence of the intrinsic association of these aspectual constructions with event verbs and the ‘phenomenal’ situations they refer to, i.e., situations that are susceptible to change. Such phenomenal situations lend themselves more naturally to mirative readings, as their occurrence and development at a certain point in time cannot be fully predicted.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): aspect , mirativity , perfect , perfective and progressive
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