Traditional theory about the origin of the Latin imperfect

Authors

  • Matej Hribersek University of Ljubljana

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.43.1.13-24

Keywords:

Latin, imperfect

Abstract

The imperfect tense expresses a continuous past action which is unfinished, as the name itself indicates - im-perfectum. This characteristic accounts for its three uses:

a)  pure, durative imperfect

b)  iterative imperfect and

c)  imperfect de conatu. These uses are best preserved  in Greek but were also used in Latin, where the forms of the old imperfect  disappeared.  In Proto-Germanic,  the IE imperfect, the aorist and the perfect  continue partly in the old perfect  and partly in its counterpart, the preterite,  while, in Proto-Slavonic,  the old imperfect for non­ momentary  actions was replaced  by forms ending in *-ahb.lIn Italic languages, the functions  of the IE imperfect  passed  on into the compounds with  *bh7Jam.

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Published

1. 12. 2003

Issue

Section

Articles

How to Cite

Hribersek, M. (2003). Traditional theory about the origin of the Latin imperfect. Linguistica, 43(1), 13-24. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.43.1.13-24