arabic verbs in time tense and aspect in cairene arabic pdf

Arabic verbs in time tense and aspect in cairene arabic pdf

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Translating Tenses in Arabic-English and English-Arabic Contexts

John Eisele

This paper deals with the importance of tense. It attempts to find whether there are any similarities and differences between English and Arabic languages. So, the study tries to identify, analyze, and contrast the meanings, types and uses of tenses in these two languages in order to reveal the possible universals of the two languages in this field, and to determine as much as possible the similarities and differences between them. The notion of tense is explained. Then the types are mentioned with some classifications, and restrictions.


Aspect is a grammatical category that expresses how an action, event, or state, denoted by a verb , extends over time. Perfective aspect is used in referring to an event conceived as bounded and unitary, without reference to any flow of time during "I helped him". Imperfective aspect is used for situations conceived as existing continuously or repetitively as time flows "I was helping him"; "I used to help people".

Further distinctions can be made, for example, to distinguish states and ongoing actions continuous and progressive aspects from repetitive actions habitual aspect. Certain aspectual distinctions express a relation between the time of the event and the time of reference.

This is the case with the perfect aspect , which indicates that an event occurred prior to but has continuing relevance at the time of reference: "I have eaten"; "I had eaten"; "I will have eaten". Different languages make different grammatical aspectual distinctions; some such as Standard German ; see below do not make any. The marking of aspect is often conflated with the marking of tense and mood see tense—aspect—mood.

Aspectual distinctions may be restricted to certain tenses: in Latin and the Romance languages , for example, the perfective—imperfective distinction is marked in the past tense , by the division between preterites and imperfects.

Explicit consideration of aspect as a category first arose out of study of the Slavic languages ; here verbs often occur in pairs, with two related verbs being used respectively for imperfective and perfective meanings.

The concept of grammatical aspect should not be confused with perfect and imperfect verb forms ; the meanings of the latter terms are somewhat different, and in some languages, the common names used for verb forms may not follow the actual aspects precisely. The Indian linguist Yaska c.

This is the key distinction between the imperfective and perfective. Yaska also applied this distinction to a verb versus an action nominal. Grammarians of the Greek and Latin languages also showed an interest in aspect, but the idea did not enter into the modern Western grammatical tradition until the 19th century via the study of the grammar of the Slavic languages. The earliest use of the term recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from Aspect is often confused with the closely related concept of tense , because they both convey information about time.

While tense relates the time of referent to some other time, commonly the speech event, aspect conveys other temporal information, such as duration, completion, or frequency, as it relates to the time of action.

Thus tense refers to temporally when while aspect refers to temporally how. Aspect can be said to describe the texture of the time in which a situation occurs, such as a single point of time, a continuous range of time, a sequence of discrete points in time, etc. For example, consider the following sentences: "I eat", "I am eating", "I have eaten", and "I have been eating". All are in the present tense , indicated by the present-tense verb of each sentence eat , am , and have.

Yet since they differ in aspect each conveys different information or points of view as to how the action pertains to the present. Grammatical aspect is a formal property of a language , distinguished through overt inflection , derivational affixes, or independent words that serve as grammatically required markers of those aspects. Even languages that do not mark aspect morphologically or through auxiliary verbs , however, can convey such distinctions by the use of adverbs or other syntactic constructions.

Grammatical aspect is distinguished from lexical aspect or aktionsart , which is an inherent feature of verbs or verb phrases and is determined by the nature of the situation that the verb describes.

The most fundamental aspectual distinction, represented in many languages, is between perfective aspect and imperfective aspect. This is the basic aspectual distinction in the Slavic languages. For events of short durations in the past, the distinction often coincides with the distinction in the English language between the simple past "X-ed," as compared to the progressive "was X-ing". Compare "I wrote the letters this morning" i.

In describing longer time periods, English needs context to maintain the distinction between the habitual "I called him often in the past" — a habit that has no point of completion and perfective "I called him once" — an action completed , although the construct "used to" marks both habitual aspect and past tense and can be used if the aspectual distinction otherwise is not clear.

Sometimes, English has a lexical distinction where other languages may use the distinction in grammatical aspect. For example, the English verbs "to know" the state of knowing and "to find out" knowing viewed as a "completed action" correspond to the imperfect and perfect forms of the equivalent verbs in French and Spanish, savoir and saber.

This is also true when the sense of verb "to know" is "to know somebody", in this case opposed in aspect to the verb "to meet" or even to the construction "to get to know".

In German, on the other hand, the distinction is also lexical as in English through verbs kennen and kennenlernen , although the semantic relation between both forms is much more straightforward since kennen means "to know" and lernen means "to learn". The Germanic languages combine the concept of aspect with the concept of tense. Although English largely separates tense and aspect formally, its aspects neutral, progressive, perfect, progressive perfect, and [in the past tense] habitual do not correspond very closely to the distinction of perfective vs.

Furthermore, the separation of tense and aspect in English is not maintained rigidly. One instance of this is the alternation, in some forms of English, between sentences such as "Have you eaten? Like tense, aspect is a way that verbs represent time. However, rather than locating an event or state in time, the way tense does, aspect describes "the internal temporal constituency of a situation", or in other words, aspect is a way "of conceiving the flow of the process itself".

What distinguishes these aspects within each tense is not necessarily when the event occurs, but how the time in which it occurs is viewed: as complete, ongoing, consequential, planned, etc.

In most dialects of Ancient Greek, aspect is indicated uniquely by verbal morphology. For example, the very frequently used aorist , though a functional preterite in the indicative mood, conveys historic or 'immediate' aspect in the subjunctive and optative. The perfect in all moods is used as an aspectual marker, conveying the sense of a resultant state.

Many Sino-Tibetan languages, like Mandarin , lack grammatical tense but are rich in aspect Heine, Kuteva [ full citation needed ] , p. There is a distinction between grammatical aspect, as described here, and lexical aspect. Other terms for the pair lexical vs. The distinctions made as part of lexical aspect are different from those of grammatical aspect. Typical distinctions are between states "I owned" , activities "I shopped" , accomplishments "I painted a picture" , achievements "I bought" , and punctual, or semelfactive , events "I sneezed".

These distinctions are often relevant syntactically. Lexical aspect is sometimes called Aktionsart , especially by German and Slavic linguists. Lexical or situation aspect is marked in Athabaskan languages. One of the factors in situation aspect is telicity. Telicity might be considered a kind of lexical aspect, except that it is typically not a property of a verb in isolation, but rather a property of an entire verb phrase. Achievements, accomplishments and semelfactives have telic situation aspect, while states and activities have atelic situation aspect.

The other factor in situation aspect is duration, which is also a property of a verb phrase. Accomplishments, states, and activities have duration, while achievements and semelfactives do not.

In some languages, aspect and time are very clearly separated, making them much more distinct to their speakers. There are a number of languages that mark aspect much more saliently than time. Prominent in this category are Chinese and American Sign Language , which both differentiate many aspects but rely exclusively on optional time-indicating terms to pinpoint an action with respect to time. In other language groups, for example in most modern Indo-European languages except Slavic languages and some Indo-Aryan languages like Hindi [11] , aspect has become almost entirely conflated, in the verbal morphological system, with time.

In Russian , aspect is more salient than tense in narrative. Russian, like other Slavic languages, uses different lexical entries for the different aspects, whereas other languages mark them morphologically , and still others with auxiliaries e. Periphrastic Hindi verb forms consist of two elements.

There is some disagreement among grammarians whether to view the distinction as a distinction in aspect, or tense, or both. This past verb is clearly similar if not identical to the Greek aorist, which is considered a tense but is more of an aspect marker. In the Arabic, aorist aspect is the logical consequence of past tense. At least that's the way the tradition sees it. To explicitly mark aspect, Arabic uses a variety of lexical and syntactic devices. Contemporary Arabic dialects are another matter.

Aspect can mark the stage of an action. The prospective aspect is a combination of tense and aspect that indicates the action is in preparation to take place. The inceptive aspect identifies the beginning stage of an action e. Esperanto uses ek- , e. Aspects of stage continue through progressive, pausative, resumptive, cessive, and terminative. The English tense—aspect system has two morphologically distinct tenses, present and past. No marker of a future tense exists on the verb in English; the futurity of an event may be expressed through the use of the auxiliary verbs " will " and " shall ", by a present form plus an adverb , as in "tomorrow we go to New York City", or by some other means.

Past is distinguished from present—future, in contrast, with internal modifications of the verb. These two tenses may be modified further for progressive aspect also called continuous aspect , for the perfect , or for both. While many elementary discussions of English grammar classify the present perfect as a past tense, it relates the action to the present time. One cannot say of someone now deceased that he "has eaten" or "has been eating".

The present auxiliary implies that he is in some way present alive , even if the action denoted is completed perfect or partially completed progressive perfect. Aspects can also be marked on non-finite forms of the verb: " to be eating" infinitive with progressive aspect , " to have eaten" infinitive with perfect aspect , "having eaten" present participle or gerund with perfect aspect , etc.

The perfect infinitive can further be governed by modal verbs to express various meanings, mostly combining modality with past reference: "I should have eaten" etc. In particular, the modals will and shall and their subjunctive forms would and should are used to combine future or hypothetical reference with aspectual meaning:. The uses of the progressive and perfect aspects are quite complex. They may refer to the viewpoint of the speaker:. But they can have other illocutionary forces or additional modal components:.

For further discussion of the uses of the various tense—aspect combinations, see Uses of English verb forms. English expresses some other aspectual distinctions with other constructions. The aspectual systems of certain dialects of English, such as African-American Vernacular English see for example habitual be , and of creoles based on English vocabulary, such as Hawaiian Creole English , are quite different from those of standard English, and often reflect a more elaborate paradigm of aspectual distinctions often at the expense of tense.

Although Standard German does not have aspects, many Upper German languages , all West Central German languages, and some more vernacular German languages do make one aspectual distinction, and so do the colloquial languages of many regions, the so-called German regiolects. While officially discouraged in schools and seen as 'bad language', local English teachers like the distinction, because it corresponds well with the English continuous form.

It is formed by the conjugated auxiliary verb sein "to be" followed by the preposition "am" and the infinitive, or the nominalized verb.

The latter two are phonetically indistinguishable; in writing, capitalization differs: "Ich war am essen" vs. In Dutch a West Germanic language , two types of continuous form are used. Both types are considered Standard Dutch. The first type is very similar to the non-standard German type.

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Translating Tenses in Arabic-English and English-Arabic Contexts

A line has been drawn between the dialects of Oman and those of the coastal Gulf states in classifications of the Arabic dialects of the Arabian Peninsula Johnstone ; Holes Holes Most studies reporting on this divide have dealt with the phonology, morphology and, to some extent, lexis. Little is known, however, about the degree to which these dialectal groups differ from or correspond to one another in grammatical structure. As a contribution to filling this gap, we have undertaken a joint project that compares two databases of authentic speech with the aim of studying syntactic differences and shared features.

This will help you distinguish between past habitual and past progressive. It is used to ask somebody if they would like to do something. Sentence four gives an example of this. The sentence reads: I became more famous outside of the house.

This paper presents a cross-linguistic typology of performatives, especially with respect to their relationship with tense and aspect, in the languages of the world. I explore the relationship between performatives and particular tenses and aspects, and touch on the mechanisms underlying such a relationship. The paper finds that there is not one relation between performatives and a particular tense and aspect and there are no languages which have a special dedicated performative tense or aspect marker. Instead, performatives are compatible with various tense and aspect markers, even though the use of a present tense seems to be the most common. What counts as the most optimal tense and aspect for performatives depends on the division of labor within the linguistic structure.

John Eisele

Aarts, B. English Word Classes and Phrases. McMahon Eds. Alasmari, J.

Aspect is a grammatical category that expresses how an action, event, or state, denoted by a verb , extends over time. Perfective aspect is used in referring to an event conceived as bounded and unitary, without reference to any flow of time during "I helped him". Imperfective aspect is used for situations conceived as existing continuously or repetitively as time flows "I was helping him"; "I used to help people". Further distinctions can be made, for example, to distinguish states and ongoing actions continuous and progressive aspects from repetitive actions habitual aspect. Certain aspectual distinctions express a relation between the time of the event and the time of reference.

Grammatical aspect


  • Dillan J. 23.04.2021 at 15:29

    Using a corpus of 1, examples, it is remarkably exhaustive in its treatment of the categories and forms of both Standard Arabic and English tenses.

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