Johannes Heinecke:

Temporal Deixis in Welsh and Breton

Universitätsverlag Carl Winter, Heidelberg 1999.
ISBN: 3-8253-0922-3, 339 pages, DM 98,-

In this study a language-independent theoretical framework of temporal and aspectual relations is established in order to enable language comparison. Several well-known approaches to the field of research on time and aspect have been evaluated in order to find the most adequate descriptive system.

In its central part this volume thoroughly examines the differing methods employed by Welsh and Breton (both closely related Celtic languages) to express temporal and aspecutal relations. Although both Welsh and Breton are genetically similar, the expression of temporal deixis is very different. Breton employs a greater number of ways to express temporal and aspectual differences. It has less deictic differentiation, since some of its markers express similar temporal values. Welsh has a more systematic marking system, and uses aspectual markers similarly in different temporal environments.It is thus able to express a more refined system of (temporal and aspectual) relations.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements xi
Glossary xiii
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Motivation 4
1.2 Welsh and Breton linguistics 5
1.2.1 Welsh 5
1.2.2 Breton 7
2 Theoretical approaches 9
2.2.1 ``Progressive'' 14
2.3 Tense and aspectual forms as verbal categories 17
2.4 Hans Reichenbach 20
2.4.1 The function of the ``extended forms'' of English 20
2.4.2 Sequence of tenses 21
2.4.3 Nine-stage tense system 22
2.4.4 Reception of Reichenbach's ideas 23
2.4.5 Concluding remarks 25
2.5 William E. Bull 27
2.5.1 Axes of orientation 28
2.5.2 The integrated system of communication 29
2.5.3 Nature of events 30
2.5.4 Hypothetical tense system 32
2.5.5 Aspect and axes of orientation 34
2.5.6 Critical evaluation 34
2.6 Harald Weinrich 35
2.6.1 Narrative and discursive tenses 36
2.6.2 Speech attitude 37
2.6.3 Speaker's perspective 38
2.6.4 Relievo 39
2.6.5 Tense transitions and tense metaphors 40
2.6.6 Tense combinations 41
2.6.7 Critical comments 42
2.7 Bernard Comrie 43
2.7.1 Aspectual categories 44
2.7.2 Progressive 47
2.7.3 Aktionsarten 48
2.7.4 Perfect 49
2.7.5 Syntactic expressions 51
2.7.6 Time reference and tense 52
2.7.7 Formal theory of tense 54
2.7.8 Tenses and aspects 55
2.7.9 Critical evaluation 56
2.8 Östen Dahl 56
2.8.1 Aspectual categories 59
2.8.1.1 Progressive vs. imperfective 61
2.8.1.2 Habituality 62
2.8.2 Tense categories 63
2.8.3 Perfect 65
2.8.4 Critical remarks 66
2.9 Hans-Jürgen Sasse, Walter Breu 67
2.9.1 State of affairs and their boundaries 68
2.9.2 Interaction between states of affairs and aspects 73
2.9.3 Critical evaluation 76
2.10 Wolfgang Klein 77
2.10.1 Traditional views 77
2.10.2 Topic time and time of situation 78
2.10.3 Basic time concept 80
2.10.4 Relatum 82
2.10.5 Temporal relations 82
2.10.6 Inherent temporal features of the lexical contents 83
2.10.7 Aspects 84
2.10.8 Tense 88
2.10.9 Critical remarks 90
2.11 Critical evaluation of the approaches discussed and summary 91
3 Time and Aspectuality 95
3.1 Onomasiology vs. Semasiology 96
3.2 Temporal Stages and Tenses 98
3.2.1 Temporal Stages of Second Degree 99
3.3 Deictic vs. Definitory Categories 105
3.4 Aspect and Aspectual Forms 109
3.5 Combination of Temporal Stages and Aspects 110
3.6 An Example of Aspect-Marking 115
3.7 Conclusion 120
4 The Celtic languages 123
4.1 Insular Celtic 126
4.1.1 P- and Q-Celtic 127
4.1.2 The Brittonic languages 131
4.2 Welsh 132
4.2.1 Periods of the Welsh language 132
4.2.2 The Welsh language today 135
4.2.3 Dialectal variations 137
4.2.4 Orthography 139
4.3 Breton 140
4.3.1 Periods of the Breton language 141
4.3.2 The Breton language today 142
4.3.3 Dialectal variations 144
4.3.4 Orthography 147
4.4 Cornish 149
5 Time and aspectuality in the Welsh verbal system 151
5.1 Typological description 151
5.2 Temporal stages of first degree 156
5.2.1 Present time 156
5.2.1.2 Present time and perfective aspect: ``case of coincidence'' 161
5.2.1.3 ``Deictic'' verbs 162
5.2.2 Past time 163
5.2.2.1 Synthetic imperfective past time forms 169
5.2.2.5 Coordinate sentences 173
5.2.2.6 Summary 174
5.2.3 Future time 176
5.3 Temporal stages of second degree 179
5.3.1 Anteriority 179
5.3.1.1 Time reference in subordinate clauses 183
5.3.1.3 Other temporal subordinations 187
5.3.1.4 Negative subordinations 189
5.3.1.5 Other anterior past time reference 190
5.3.2 Posteriority 190
5.3.2.1 Posteriority in subordinate clauses 192
5.4 Temporal stages of higher degree 192
5.4.1 Anterior simultaneous temporal stages 192
5.4.2 Anterior anterior temporal stages 195
5.4.3 Posterior simultaneous temporal stages 197
5.4.4 Posterior anterior temporal stages 199
5.5 Imperfectivity with temporal stages of non-first degree 201
5.6 Other periphrastic markers 204
5.7 Atemporality and generic expressions 207
5.8 Tenses with modal functions 208
5.8.1 Subjunctive forms 212
5.9 Summary 212
6 Time and aspectuality in the Breton verbal system 217
6.1 Typological description 217
6.2 Temporal stages of first degree 220
6.2.1 Present time 221
6.2.1.3 Habituality 227
6.2.1.4 Present time and perfective: ``case of coincidence'' 228
6.2.1.5 ``Deictic'' verbs 228
6.2.2 Past time 229
6.2.2.2 Habituality 235
6.2.3 Future time 236
6.3 Temporal stages of second degree 239
6.3.1 Anteriority 239
6.3.2 Posteriority 241
6.4 Temporal stages of higher degrees 243
6.5 Imperfectivity with temporal stages of second or higher degree 245
6.5.1 Anteriority 245
6.5.2 Posteriority 247
6.6 Atemporality and generic expressions 248
6.7 Tenses with modal functions 252
6.8 Summary 253
7 Comparison and results 257
7.1 Temporal stages, aspects and their forms 257
7.1.1 Comparison 265
7.1.1.1 Similarities 266
7.1.1.2 Differences 266
7.1.2 The temporal meaning of Welsh and Breton tenses 270
7.2 Conclusion 273
A Verbal paradigms 275
B Mutations 299
C Abbreviations 301
Bibliography 303
Index 330

Last changes: 14th April 2001, jhe
johannes (dot) heinecke (at) wanadoo (dot) fr