Is the German Perfekt a Perfect Perfect?


  • Sebastian Löbner



Descriptive accounts of German tense forms largely agree in the Perfekt being ambiguous between (at least) a past and a resultative or similar perfect meaning, or function. Recent theoretical accounts, however, favour a uniform analysis, e.g. Klein (1999) and Musan (2000). In this paper it will be argued that the German Perfekt is genuinely ambiguous in a way these approaches are unable to account for. Mainly drawing on evidence from narrative passages, temporal clauses and the aspectual particles schon and noch it is argued that these basic semantic data require the assumption of both a non-perfect past and a non-past perfect reading of the form.




How to Cite

Löbner, S. (2019). Is the German Perfekt a Perfect Perfect?. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 6, 255–274.