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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.57, No.6, 1067 ~ 1089, 2011
Non-aspectual Uses of the English Progressive
Seung Ah Lee
While there is a high degree of convergence in linguistics in the treatment of the progressive as an aspect, the English progressive is unusually wide in its range of uses. This paper highlights the distinction between aspectual and non-aspectual progressives. The primary function of the progressive is to present a situation as ongoing, and this strictly aspectual use of the progressive is referred to as ``aspectual progressive``. On the other hand, the uses of the English progressive that are not, in a strict sense, aspectual is called ``non-aspectual progressive``. There are at least three basic uses of non-aspectual progressives. The first is the so-called progressive futurate (e.g., John is leaving tomorrow). In English, the present progressive can be used to express future time reference. This use of the progressive is regarded as a non-aspectual one, on the grounds that its meaning cannot be accounted for in terms of ongoingness. The second use is the habitual progressive (e.g., She`s smoking a lot these days). Given that the habitual is an aspect, it is natural that the habitual progressive is not an aspectual progressive because one cannot view a situation in two different ways. In addition, ongoingness is not a defining property of the habitual progressive but is only a contingent or subsidiary property. The real essence of the habitual progressive is habituality. The third use of non-aspectual progressives is the experiential or interpretative progressive (e.g., You`re imagining things), whose main characteristic is the subjectivity of the speaker`s interpretation. The experiential or interpretative progressive does not serve a primarily aspectual function because the meaning of ongoingness has nothing to do with the content of the utterance.
Key Words
aspectual progressive, non-aspectual progressive, progressive futurate, habitual progressive, experiential progressive, interpretative progressive,영미문학, 문화연구, 비교문학, 비평이론, English and American Literature, cultural studies, comparative literature, critical theory
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