Institutionen för lingvistik och filologi

Discourse functions of the perfect with application to English, New Testament Greek and Sistani Balochi

  • Datum: 2017-03-31 kl 11:00 12:00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 3-2028
  • Föreläsare: Dr. Stephen Levinsohn, SIL International
  • Arrangör: Iranska språk
  • Kontaktperson: Carina Jahani
  • Telefon: 018-4717869
  • Föreläsning

English and Sistani Balochi are tense-prominent languages, and use the perfect mainly to elaborate on an existing topic when referring to a past event. New Testament Greek is an aspect-prominent language with no distinct form for present perfectives. This lecture investigates the discourse functions of the perfect in these three languages.

English and Sistani Balochi are tense-prominent languages, and use the perfect mainly to elaborate on an existing topic when referring to a past event. English perfects also introduce new topics that the speaker wishes to address, while Balochi uses it with a mirative and as a forward-pointing rhetorical device in orienters that introduce reported speeches. New Testament Greek is an aspect-prominent language with no distinct form for present perfectives. This partly explains why English translates some Greek aorists (perfectives) with perfects. The Greek perfect often introduces restatements of past events or speeches. In passages with aorist-perfect alternation, it is also used in a marked way with added implicatures. Towards the end of a passage, assertions in the perfect often clinch the argument and/or are climactic. Near the beginning of a narrative passage, in contrast, the perfect is a forward-pointing device, highlighting what follows.