Spanish perfect: Still a perfect, or already a perfective / preterite?.

2013. №4, 97-125


The article presents certain features of Perfect in Spanish against the background typological views on Perfect as a cross-linguistic grammar category. Specifi cally, two discursive constraints on Perfect are under discussion: its combinability with time-specifi c adverbials and its function denoting a sequence of events in the narrative. The violation of both constraints by speakers of Spanish is diagnosed by many linguists as a sign of an «aoristic drift» bound to turn Spanish Perfect into a Perfective and/or Preterit, which for Spanish would mean converting it to Aorist. This proposal offers an alternative view on Perfect / Aorist correlation, based on the concept of «current relevance».