Some Remarks on Grammatical Aspect in Latin

The existence of grammatical aspect in Latin is a much discussed issue. The main aim of this article is to review different approaches to this question and to discuss important arguments that have to be taken into consideration. Besides the traditional view according to which there is an aspectual difference between the infectum and perfectum stems, two other arguments claiming the existence of aspect in Latin have been proposed: aspect as a category inherited from Indo-European and aspectual difference between the Latin perfect and imperfect tense. On the one hand, I will argue that the difference between the perfect and the imperfect is of a temporal nature and that the Latin perfect is used both for telic (terminative) states of affairs and atelic (non-terminative) ones. Furthermore, the Latin perfect combines with expressions of duration which, except for special cases, are excluded with Russian perfective verbs.

Spevak O._Some Remarks on Grammatical Aspect in Latin