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Title: À propos de l'aspect verbal en grec ancien, en slave et en latin
Author(s): SPEVAK, Olga
Journal: Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris
Volume: 111    Issue: 1   Date: 2016   
Pages: 243-275
DOI: 10.2143/BSL.111.1.3197369

Abstract :
La présente contribution a deux objectifs. D’abord, nous comparons les systèmes aspectuels du grec ancien et du slave, plus particulièrement, l’opposition perfectivité vs. imperfectivité, pour montrer que l’aoriste grec ne correspond pas toujours aux verbes perfectifs slaves, comme on le postule souvent. Les perfectifs slaves sont inaptes à rendre l’aoriste «complexif», résumant un procès qui a duré un certain temps. La perfectivité et l’imperfectivité ne sont pas identiques dans ces deux systèmes. Ensuite, nous nous concentrons sur la catégorie d’aspect en latin. En réfutant la théorie ancienne sur le préverbe perfectivisant et la théorie récente sur l’opposition aspectuelle entre le parfait et l’imparfait, nous introduisons des arguments en faveur de la neutralité aspectuelle des formes verbales latines.



This article deals with verbal (or grammatical) aspect. It has a twofold objective: a comparison of perfectivity and imperfectivity in Ancient Greek and the Slavic languages, and a discussion of the category of aspect in Latin. The first aim is to show that the Greek aorist does not always correspond to the perfective verbs in Slavic languages, as is often claimed. Perfective verbs are incompatible with expressions of duration and they do not match with the 'complexive' aorist. Perfectivity and imperfectivity is not identical in these two aspectual systems. Whereas perfectivity in Greek has to do with the panoptic apprehension of a state of affairs, perfectivity of perfective verbs in the Slavic languages is linked with terminativity. The second aim is to examine the relevance of the category of aspect in Latin. The two main theories that have been proposed — one assuming a perfectivizing function of prefixes, another assuming an aspectual opposition between the perfect tense and the imperfect tense — suffer from a number of difficulties. There are arguments in favour of the aspectual neutrality of the verbal forms in Latin, in particular the fact that the Latin perfect is not restricted to terminative states of affairs but marks non-terminative ones as well. The Latin perfect expresses a completed event, the imperfect, an ongoing event. In some contexts, they may suggest some aspectual values; however, this is only a secondary effect.

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