Linguistics Senior Research Projects

Document Type


Submission Date

Spring 4-27-2018


linguistics, modern languages, Biblical languages, verbal structure, verbal aspect, aktionsart, English verb


This paper reviews literature in aspect studies from modern linguistics and Biblical language studies and proposes syntheses of multiple definitions given for these often-confusing verbal categories as the discussion has progressed from the Nineteenth Century to the present day. To inform these definitions, key studies such as Bache (1982), Comrie (1981), Lyons (1977), and Porter (1989) are consulted. In addition to suggesting definitions for these, this paper also discusses the best way to understand aktionsart as it functions in several related languages, and as it relates to aspect in usage. An analysis of evidence for this description as it functions in modern English follows. Data is given for categorizing the 100 most common verbs in English into the verb-type paradigm proposed by Comrie (1981) and Vendler (1957). From the categorization of these verbs, the distribution of aspect and aktionsarten in the English language is shown, and the relationship between the two as it relates to English verbal structure is suggested.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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