Restricted and reversed aspectual contrasts

Andrew Carnie, Sylvia L.R. Schreiner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, Scottish Gaelic data are presented as evidence for the necessity of two modifications to Cowper’s (1998 and forward) feature geometry for tense and aspectual contrasts. Both modifications involve dependencies on the PRECEDENCE feature, which in Cowper’s geometry of English is responsible for the past tense marker -ed and the past participle morpheme -en/-ed. The first modification is a RESTRICTED feature. This feature is used to encode the temporal restriction between event and reference times in the near perfect and near prospective aspects found in Scottish Gaelic. The second modification is a REVERSED feature, which reverses the temporal ordering of two times. This feature is argued to mark unrestricted and restricted prospective aspects. It is claimed that certain future-like meanings in Scottish Gaelic do not involve a modal feature like IRREALIS but rather the proposed REVERSED feature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContrast and Representations in Syntax
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780198817925
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Precedence feature
  • Restricted feature
  • Reversed feature
  • Scottish Gaelic
  • aspect
  • contrastive hierarchy
  • feature geometry
  • morphosyntax
  • perfect
  • prospective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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