Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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Iosif FRIDMAN, St. Tikhon Orthodox University of Humanities, Moscow, Russian Federation, Russia

Prospective is a gram of the cross-linguistic category of verbal aspect that denotes, if we resort to the definition given by Bernard Comrie, "a state ... related to equally subsequent situation, for instance where someone is in a state of being about to do something". Prospective constructions (as a general rule, this meaning is expressed analytically) can be exemplified by the English to be going to do sth, to be on the point of doing sth. In Modern Amharic, similar meanings are expressed by constructions involving the conjunction lә- combined with the Simple Imperfective form of the lexical verb and the copulas näw, näbbärä, allä and tägäňňä. In my paper, I shall venture to investigate the semantics of each of these constructions, the syntactic conditions of their employment, the pragmatic connotations involved in their use in speech as well as their interaction with other modal and aspectual domains of the Amharic verb. Another aim of the paper is to place the Amharic prospective within the general typological context and comparing it with the findings of other researchers who worked with various genetically and structurally diverse languages.