Symposium: The Function and Semantics of the Perfect in Indo-European Languages

Indoeuropeiska språkThe perfect occupies a special place within the verb systems of the world’s languages. It typically expresses features associated with tense, aspect, and aktionsart. As such, the perfect defies reduction to explanation within the parameters of a single grammatical category. It is this tendency that makes the perfect so difficult to define on the one hand, and leads on the other to diverse developments in its function and semantics.

The symposium “The Function and Semantics of the Perfect in Indo-European Languages” will discuss the semantics and function of the perfect for the Indo-European languages, analyse its development, and discuss those characteristics that are shared by IE languages at its various stages of attestation. As a result we aim to give a synchronic and diachronic typological overview of the grammatical category for related languages. This will also involve discussion of the question of the functional and semantic range of the Proto-Indo-European perfect.

You are very welcome to take part in the whole programme or in specific sessions that are of particular interest to you. There are lectures on Iranian, Vedic, Greek, Tocharian, Celtic, Albanian, Baltic and Slavic languages, Latin and other Romance languages, Germanic languages, Anatolian, Aramaic in contact with Indo-European, and other subjects.

Among the speakers are Östen Dahl, Åke Viberg, Geoffrey Khan, Joachim Kümmel, Stephen Levinsohn, and several other invited specialists.

We hope this symposium will be of interest to many colleagues.


Carina Jahani, Dept. of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University
Robert Crellin, University of Cambridge
Thomas Jügel, UMR – Mondes iranien et indien, INaLCO, Paris

Venue: Uppsala University

Date: 29 September – 1 October 2016

For questions about the conference, please contact the organisers of the conference at this email: