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Verbal Periphrasis in Ancient GreekHave- and Be- Constructions$
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Klaas Bentein

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747093

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747093.001.0001

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Perfect Aspect

Perfect Aspect

Chapter:
(p.105) 3 Perfect Aspect
Source:
Verbal Periphrasis in Ancient Greek
Author(s):

Klaas Bentein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747093.003.0004

This chapter deals with periphrases formed in the domain of perfect aspect. This mainly concerns εἰμί‎ with the perfect participle (as in ἦν τετελευτηκώς‎ ‘he was dead’). Previous research has claimed that the construction remained stative throughout its entire history, but a more complex scenario is argued for. It is shown that already in the Classical period the construction came to be used with an anterior aspectual function (as in ἀκηκοότες ἦσαν‎ ‘they had heard’), similarly to the synthetic perfect. This is a development which can be understood in terms of transitivization, that is, the construction being used in more transitive contexts. However, in the Post-Classical period, εἰμί‎ with the perfect participle underwent a functional specialization as a resultative perfect periphrasis, due to the appearance of a new construction: εἰμί‎ with the aorist participle (as in εἰμί ποιήσας‎ ‘I have done’). Aside from these two constructions, attention is drawn to various innovative perfect constructions, whose existence has been completely overlooked in most previous accounts.

Keywords:   perfect aspect, resultative perfect, anterior aspectual function, transitivization, functional specialization

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