Prospective and retrospective in Estonian Cover Image

Prospektiiv ja retrospektiiv eesti keeles
Prospective and retrospective in Estonian

Author(s): Mati Erelt
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus
Keywords: Estonian; aspect; prospective; proximative; avertive; retrospective

Summary/Abstract: The article distinguishes between the grammatical meanings of the internal and external phases of an event and describes the manifestations of the categories of the external phase – prospective and retrospective – in Estonian. The Estonian prospective occurs in two ways: in unmarked form or the proximative (the prephase category of a present or past event), e.g. Puder tahtis põhja kõrbeda ‘the porridge was on the verge of burning away’, Vene väed on Gorist lahkumas ‘the Russian forces are about to leave Gori’ and in marked form or the avertive (the pre-phase category of an unrealized past event), e.g. Ta pidi kukkuma ‘he was on the verge of falling to the ground’. The modal source of the avertive (the verb pidama ‘must, have to’) is typologically signifi cant. The retrospective expresses the state of the moment of observation as a result of a prior event, and it is expressed by the past participle in the function of the predicative. (Poiss on üllatunud ‘the boy is surprised’. Aken on avatud ‘the window is open’).

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 54
  • Page Range: 044-053
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Estonian