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Iamitives: Perfects in Southeast Asia and beyond
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explores grammatical markers with meanings similar to the English perfect tense and words like already, as found in numerous languages across the world, and perhaps especially in languages of Southeast Asia, with the aim of describing the main function of these markers. Such items have previously been treated as belonging to the same category as the perfects of European languages but are tentatively termed "iamitives" in this study (from Latin iam 'already') since they differ from perfects in many respects. The investigation focusses on the semantic and pragmatic factors that determine the use of iamitive-like markers in Indonesian/Malay, Thai, Vietnamese and Mandarin Chinese, based on questionnaire data obtained through work with native speakers of the languages, with additional data coming from a number of languages spoken in other parts of the world. The results highlight the differences and similarities that can be found between iamitives, perfects and 'already', and explicates a number of conditions that are crucial for the use of iamitives, notably involving notions such as change-of-state and speaker expectations

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
aspect, tense, perfect, Southeast Asian languages
National Category
Humanities General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91392OAI: diva2:633203
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-06-27 Created: 2013-06-26 Last updated: 2014-05-26Bibliographically approved

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