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Where do aspectual verbs come from?

Most aspectual verbs are derived historicallyOne can either treat the notion of being `derived' from something else as historical or as a process of derivational morphology. Typically native and missionary grammarians have dealt with aspectual verbs as if they were special or idiosyncratic usages of lexical verbs, rather than being semantically and synchronically different. Arden, for example, refers to them as intensifying the meaning of the lexical verb. (Arden 1942:282-3) from some lexical verb that is still in use in Tamil but has its own lexical meaning. The `meaning' of aspectual verbs is primarily grammatical or syntactic and can usually only be related vestigially to the lexical meaning of the verb from which it is derived.

Vasu Renganathan
Sat Nov 2 21:16:08 EST 1996