Mila Dimitrova-Vulchanova

in The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195381979
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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Traditionally, aspect and voice are regarded as grammatical categories of verbs. While aspect concerns the way in which the situation denoted by the verb unfolds and how this is represented in the sentence, voice is about the relationship between the participant roles that the verb encodes lexically and their overt realization in the syntax of the clause as argument nominal expressions. One of the most widely recognized definitions of aspect was proposed by Bernard Comrie (1976, 1985), according to which aspect is “a grammaticalization or expression of the internal temporal constituency of the situation.” This article adopts a broader definition of voice to include all (diathetic) alternations in the mapping of the verb's participant roles onto grammatical functions. Thus, voice is a category that “relates the participant roles associated with arguments [to] the grammatical functions of the noun phrases expressing these arguments.” The article also examines situation-type aspect and viewpoint aspect, aspectual values and canonical alternations, constraints on aspect construal in derived structures, tense and diathesis, and the source of aspectual and temporal values and constraints.

Keywords: tense; aspect; voice; verbs; diathesis; situation-type aspect; viewpoint aspect; aspectual values; canonical alternations; aspect construal

Article.  10407 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Linguistic Typology

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