The Perfect and the Evidential

Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 67)


The Proto-Indo-European tense system made a distinction between the aorist – referring to events that had been completed before the moment of speaking, the imperfect – referring to events that lasted for a given period of time before the moment of speaking, and a synthetic perfect – referring to events that occurred in the past, but are relevant at the moment of speaking. Subsequently, an analytic perfect developed, which, throughout Europe and especially in its central parts, has been ousting out the other past tenses and taking over their functions. In the Balkans, however, the analytic perfect, with functions distinct from the aorist and the imperfect, coexists with the latter two tenses, though the spread and use of these tenses and their interrelationship are different in different Balkan languages.


Tense Form Past Participle Transitive Verb Past Tense Form Perfect Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeidenThe Netherlands

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