Perfect usage across languages

Henriëtte de Swart 1
  • 1 Depertment of Languages, Literature and Communication Utrecht University, Trans 10 3512 JK Utrecht, Netherlands


The PERFECT constitutes a puzzling category for typologists, historical linguists and formal semanticists alike. Is it a tense? Is it an aspect? Which grammatical forms qualify as PERFECTS? What is the core of the PERFECT meaning? This short paper suggests that progress can be made if we start using the wealth of digitized language data that has become available to uncover the semantics of the PERFECT through its contextual usages across languages.

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