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Progressives in typological perspective

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Abstract:

The category of progressive is known for the notorious difficulties of definition it poses not only within individual languages, but for general theories of aspect as well. A particularly challenging problem is the fact that in any one language, there seem to be lexemes that block progressive marking (such as the verbs ‘to know’ and ‘to understand’ in English). On the basis of comprehensive lexical samples from five languages, this study attempts to shed some light on the semantic factors governing the acceptability of progressive markers. This results in a modified outlook on the progressive.

Keywords: aspect; parts of speech; progressive

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/lic.6.2.02pus

Affiliations: 1: University of Munich 2: University of California at Los Angeles 3: Babble Company

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • International Journal for Contrastive Linguistics

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