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Just as the tenses are concerned with the time element, the aspects are also concerned with time, but with one difference, viz., the aspects are concerned with the temporal distribution of an action, even or state of affairs rather than the location of `time’ in relation to the time of utterence, i.e., it refers to the manner in which the action of the verb is regarded or experienced. Sema has two aspects which combine freely with tenses. The aspects available in Sema are progressive and habitual. A brief discussion of these follows :
Progressive aspect
The progressive aspect is usually set up in opposition to the simple tenses, viz., past, present and future. A simple present tense, however, is not available in Sema, i.e., there is no distinction between a simple present and progressive present. Hence, a direct opposition between a simple tense and an aspect is available only in the past and future tenses, though the progressive aspect is available in all the three tenses. The progressive aspect is formed by the locative verb following the principal verb. And the opposition within the progressive aspect is expressed by the markers for different tenses following the locative verb. The locative verb incidentally also functions as an auxilary verb. The principal verb will invariably be in its uninflected form as in :
(a) asi cú anì `is eating meat’
  ino pa ithulu anì `I am looking at him’
  pano zanì `he is sleeping’
(b) ino asi cùay/cuakè `I was eating meat’
(c) ino asi cúananì `I will be eating meat’
  pano zananì `he will be sleeping’
  pa hile ananì `he will be here’
It was already mentioned that the progressive aspect is formed by the locative verb following the principal verb. Not all the verbs, however, take the same shape while forming the progressive aspect, i.e., in the case of those verbs that refer to some action involving mobility, designated earlier as mobility verbs, cé rather than a follows the principal verb, as in :
ino ilicecénì `I am walking’
ino úcénì `I am going’
ino pocénì `I am running’
ino ilicecéy `I was walking’
ino úcéy `I was going’
ino pocékè `I was running’
ino ilicecénanì `I will be waking’
ino ucénanì `I will be going’ etc.
Habitual aspect
Just as the time and duration of an action in relation to the time of uttering a sentence is indicated by tenses and progressive aspect, the recurring nature of an action can be indicated by the habitual aspect. This can be illustrated with the following sentences.
li akiphikìlo ieacenì `she comes to school’
li akiphikìlo ieacey `she used to come to the school’
niye aso cúcenì `I eat bread (habitually)’
paye asi cúcey `he used to eat meat’ etc.
These sentences are in opposition to the sentences :
li akiphikìlo aecénì `she is coming to the school’
li akiphikilo ieacéy `she was coming to the school’
niye aso cúanì `I am eating bread’
paye asi cúay/cúakè `he was eating meat’ etc.
The difference between the two sets lies in that in the case of the first, it indicates the repetition of an action over a period of time whereas in the case of the second set, it refers to a single action spread over a certain time. It also implies that the action is incomplete. The first and the third sentences in the first set also indicate that the repetition of the action that began earlier is continued to the present and would continue afterwards also while the second and the fourth sentences in the first set indicate that the repetition of the action that began earlier had stopped by the time the utterence was made. Since the first set refers to a repetition of an action, the verb in the set is said to be in the habitual aspect. The first sentence in the first set is in the habitual present and the second sentence is in the habitual past. Modals.
“Moods, like tense, is frequently realised by inflecting the verb or by modifying it by means of auxiliaries. It is best defined in relation to an `unmarked’ class of sentences which expresses simple statement of facts, unqualified with respect to the attitude of the speaker towards what he is saying. Simple declarative sentences of this type are, strictly speaking, non-modals (unmarked







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