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The Oxford Latin SyntaxVolume 1: The Simple Clause$
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Harm Pinkster

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283613

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283613.001.0001

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The semantic values of the Latin tenses and moods

The semantic values of the Latin tenses and moods

(p.379) Chapter 7 The semantic values of the Latin tenses and moods
The Oxford Latin Syntax

Harm Pinkster

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts with a theoretical introduction to the notions of tense, aspect, and mood. It is assumed that the Latin verbal system is essentially a temporal system based on a combination of reference point and relative position (anteriority, simultaneity, and posteriority). Finite forms have a reference time, which, by contrast, non-finite forms are lacking. Latin has three moods: indicative, subjunctive, and imperative. For the interpretation of the subjunctive (which indicates non-factivity or counterfactivity) the type of sentence in which it is used is decisive. The discussion of the moods and tenses is presented separately for main clauses and subordinate clauses. In subordinate clauses the subjunctive functions both as a semantic mood and as a grammatical mood. A relatively large amount of space is devoted to the semantic value of the perfect and to the so-called sequence of tenses.

Keywords:   tense, aspect, mood, anteriority, simultaneity, posteriority, factive, indicative, subjunctive, imperative, sequence of tenses

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