The Diachronic Mapping of Temporal Features between English Nominals and Verbs, and the Article-Aspect Interplay
Keywords:English compositional and verbal aspect diachronically and synchronically, definite, indefinite and zero article, articles as markers of boundedness/non-boundedness, mapping of temporal values of NPs, article-aspect interplay
Aspect (the perfective-imperfective distinction) can be verbal or compositional. The probable distribution and re-distribution in diachrony of some aspectual devices in English are outlined in a bid to improve the description of aspect in Old/Middle English. The author’s model of compositional aspect is employed with its conceptions of the temporal nature of situation participants, the mapping of temporal features between nominals and verbs in the sentence and the inverse relationship across languages of markers of temporal boundedness in verbs and nouns. Leiss’ theory of the article-aspect interplay in Proto-Germanic in diachrony is also employed to complete a picture in which aspect in Old English after the emergence of the definite article must have been explicated in compositional terms like in Modern English.
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