Phasal Aspect ( Concept )

      |_ Abstract
            |_ Linguistic Property
                  |_ Morphosemantic Property
                        |_ Aspect Property
                              |_ Phasal Aspect


A set of aspectual distinctions involving relations between a background situation (the reference situation) and a situation located relative to the reference situation (the denoted situation). In English, phasal distinctions are expressed by auxiliary-headed constructions, like the inceptive, progressive, and perfect constructions, whose head verbs express the aspectual class of the denoted situation. The aspectual class of the denoted situation differs from that of the reference situation [Michaelis 1998: xv]. An event may have a beginning and an end, a middle portion (continuing or changing), and also an ensuing result or an altered state. These are considered to be the various "phases" of an event. A speaker may talk about an event from the point of view of any of these individual phases, and his language may have inflectional (or other type of) markers for representing these distinctions. Since such markers indicate distinctions in the temporal structure of an event, we may regard them as belonging to the category of aspect. It has been suggested [Dik 1989: 186] that these may be grouped under a subcategory (or "level") of aspect called "phasal aspect". [Bhat 1999: 49]

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