Japanese Aspects and Counterfactuals

by GUNJI Takao

This article presents a formal analysis of the Japanese aspectual morpheme -tei and its relationship to counterfactual expressions involving -tara and -reba. I will argue, following our former analysis in Igarashi and Gunji (1998) and revising it, that verbs and the affix te can take at most two aspectual VIEWs, which gives at most four combinations of aspectual views. I will show that three of them, except for the progressive view, have similarity in that they take the entire event as a whole in what I call the DEGENERATE form, which is argued to give the appropriate view suitable for counterfactuals.

Abstract in Japanese
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