Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can Different Languages Be Analyzed Using The Same Model?

Date:
February 23, 2009
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Spanish and Russian are relatively different languages, even if they historically share a common basis in the Indo-European family. The differences extend to the verbal system. Spanish has inherited a system that is relatively rich in forms from Latin. Russian, however, has a structure that is more similar to Classic Greek with a division based on the concept of aspect. Researchers have compared the way past time is expressed in Spanish and in Russian and arrives at a new analysis model that can also be applied to other languages.

Spanish and Russian are relatively different languages, even if they historically share a common basis in the Indo-European family. The differences extend to the verbal system. Spanish has inherited a system that is relatively rich in forms from Latin.

Related Articles


Russian, however, has a structure that is more similar to Classic Greek with a division based on the concept of aspect. David Westerholm, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, compares the way past time is expressed in Spanish and in Russian and arrives at a new analysis model that can also be applied to other languages.

Spanish expresses aspectual differences in the verbal system through the simple past tenses imperfecto and pretιrito. In a superficial analysis, however, it is noticeable that the concept of aspect does not work in the same way in the two languages. So, is it a question of the same linguistic phenomenon, and can the languages be analysed using the same model?

In his dissertation, David Westerholm presents a model called the ABC model, which can be used as a graphic definition of the concept of verbal aspect. Spanish and Russian verbs are analysed using this model, which can be said to form a linguistically neutral cognitive basis for the concept of aspect. The author of the dissertation tries to describe the tangible differences expressed by each verbal form by defining a number of underlying values. In the two languages, the simple verbal forms thus represent interpretations of the values into which the category of aspect can be divided. In real terms, this means that in Russian, imperfectivity is associated with a process while in Spanish it is interpreted rather as an expression of simultaneousness.

The dissertation also discusses the perfect tense, a function that is found in Spanish but is formally missing in Russian. David Westerholm claims that the perfect tense – in spite of its name – functionally does not express perfectivity, but that the perfect function is if anything an independent verbal parameter that expresses retrospectivity.

The whole dissertation has a systemic perspective with the focus on the relationship between different verbal functions with a past time reference and a striving to differentiate between different categories expressed by the verbs. As verbal aspect is a common category in world languages and there is no clear definition of it, there is an ambition to lay the foundations for a universal classification through the ABC model that can also be applied to languages other than Spanish and Russian.

Thesis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Can Different Languages Be Analyzed Using The Same Model?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223091857.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2009, February 23). Can Different Languages Be Analyzed Using The Same Model?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223091857.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Can Different Languages Be Analyzed Using The Same Model?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090223091857.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) — We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins