Occurence particles in the Yi group and their interaction with the occurence type of a situation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1366
Journal / PublicationLingua
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


The experiential, periodical, and habitual aspects, which I subsume under the term of occurrence aspect, have a grammatical realization in the Yi languages (Tibeto-Burman languages spoken in Southwest China) that interacts with the internal structure of the clause in a complex way. The occurrence aspect does not react significantly with the actionality type of a situation (Aktionsart), which turns out to be irrelevant here. Rather, the occurrence aspect interacts with what I call the occurrence type of a clause which describes the frequency pattern with which a situation is semantically encoded to occur in the world. Three factors etermine the occurrence type of a clause : (i) the frequency of the occurrence (e.g. paucal, spasmodic, recurrent); (ii) the modality of the occurrence (e.g. necessary, possible); (iii) the reference time frame for the occurrences. These three axes yield different sets of values that can combine with each other to form a complex typology. After analyzing a sample of representative sentences, I propose a rearrangement of the aspect family. I distinguish between temporal and quantificational aspect. The experiential, periodical, and habitual aspects belong to the quantificational branch, whereas the mainstream perfective and the progressive aspects are members of the temporal type. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Experiential, Habitual, Occurrence type, Periodical, Yi language