- Table of Symbols and Abbreviations
- About the Authors
- The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect
- Philosophy of Language
- Narratology and Literary Linguistics
- Computational Linguistics
- Universals and Typology
- Discourse and Text
- Diachrony and Grammaticalization
- Language Contact
- Creole Languages
- Primary Language Acquisition
- Second Language Acquisition
- Remoteness Distinctions
- The Surcomposé Past Tense
- Bound Tenses
- Embedded Tenses
- Nominal Tense
- Lexical Aspect
- Verbal Aspect
- Perfective and Imperfective Aspect
- Progressive and Continuous Aspect
- Habitual and Generic Aspect
- Habituality, Pluractionality, and Imperfectivity
- Perfect Tense and Aspect
- Resultative Constructions
- Time in Sentences with Modal Verbs
- Evidentiality and Mirativity
Abstract and Keywords
Questions about diachronic change as it relates to tense and aspect (TA) range from the general, such as “How do TA systems come about?” and “How do TA systems change over time?,” to the more specific, such as “How do individual tense/aspect markers or particular temporal or aspectual distinctions arise?” and “How do tense/aspect markers change over time?” This article begins with a brief summary of how entire TA systems develop and change, before focusing on grammaticalization of tense and aspect markers. It then discusses desemanticization and decategorialization, source constructions in primary grammaticalization, secondary grammaticalization, grammaticalization chains, gradience and semantic retention, and diachronic change in tense and aspect induced by language contact.
Steve Nicolle received his D.Phil from the University of York (UK) in 1997 and has lived in Kenya since 1999, including eight years among the Digo community on the south coast. During this time, he has published various articles and book chapters on grammaticalization, tense/aspect/modality, pragmatics, translation, Bantu languages, and ethnobotany, and was co-author of a trilingual Digo-English-Swahili dictionary. He currently coordinates linguistic work in Africa for SIL International (see www.sil.org), teaches linguistics and translation at Africa International University (Nairobi), and works as a linguistics and translation consultant in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and elsewhere in Africa.
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