Analytic Aspectual Constructions in the Vet?lapaav??ati, a Work of Late Classical Sanskrit

Sarah R. Rose


This paper investigates verbal forms of a text of late Classical Sanskrit, the Vet?lapaav??ati, 'Twenty Five Tales of a Demon', with a view to discovering some of the directions taken following the loss of many of the finite verbal forms in the post-Vedic period. Consistent with the acknowledged central importance of aspectual distinctions to a verbal system, rebuilding strategies evidenced in this text include a
preponderance of analytic aspectual forms (participle plus auxiliary). To indicate imperfective (continuous) aspect, constructions involving the present participle plus auxiliaries vstha 'to stand',vas 'to stay, sit', and vidyate>?vid 'to find' were used extensively. The auxiliary vidyate was noted to be a recategorized middle voice verb, with features of both Aand
P-orientation. Retrospective aspect was regularly indicated by
constructions involving the PPP combined with the auxiliary vas 'to be'; this construction was especially common in direct speech.

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