Two aspectual subsystems of Georgian.

2017. №4, 74-100

Tatiana I. Bondarenko
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA;


In this article, I discuss the aspectual system of the basic verbal forms in Georgian: present and future tenses, imperfect, conditional, and aorist. I argue that despite the similarity of Georgian preverbs and Slavic prefixes Georgian cannot be assumed to have an aspectual system of the “Slavic” type, where perfective verbs are always telic. I suggest that the aspectual system of Georgian is divided into two subsystems with different aspectual operators that provide the interaction between (a)telic descriptions and viewpoint aspect. In the first subsystem (present tense, future tense, imperfect, condition al), a default aspectual operator is at work, which ensures the telicity-dependent aspectual reference. In the second subsystem (aorist), there is a perfective operator, insensitive to the telicity of the predicates with which it interacts.