International Symposion

The Prospective as a Grammatical Category:
Evidence from Turkic, Iranian and beyond

Frankfurt a.M., 23-25 September 2013



gefördert von / funded by:


As a cross-linguistic phenomenon, the prospective, also called proximative or immediate/imminent, near/nearest or close future, has attracted the attention of general linguists only recently. Reference works still understand the "prospective" only as the future aspect meaning of present tense forms of Russian perfective verbs. Johanson, on the other hand, opposes the prospective to intraterminal, adterminal and postterminal aspects and defines the Turkish form -acak as a prospective one. Comrie defines the prospective by its opposition to Perfect and also opposes the prospective to the future and to expressions of intention; he draws attention to the combinability of English prospective forms (be going / about to do) with tense markers.
Typological investigations carried out by Dahl and Bybee found evidence for postulating a cross-linguistic category "prospective".

So far, typological studies of the category have had to rely on data from a rather limited number of languages, and investigations studying the phenomenon in more languages are urgently needed. The areal distribution of prospective forms and phenomena of language contact have not yet been studied. Other topics that need to be investigated include the relations between the categories of Prospective, Future, Intention and furher phenomena dealing with planned and/or anticipated actions.

The Symposion will provide a forum to present case studies of various languages of Eurasia. It will look at a large number of Turkic and Iranian varieties in contact with each other, as well as with other languages (Mongolic, Tungusic, Ugric, Armenian, Aramaic, etc.).


Participants and lectures





23 to 25 September 2013



Goethe University Frankfurt a.M.

Campus Bockenheim (near the Frankfurt fair)
building "Neue Mensa" (no. 4 on this plan)
Konferenzraum 3 ("Blauer Salon"), 2nd floor

How to get there


Prof. Dr. Irina Nevskaya
PD Dr. Agnes Korn

Department of Empirical Linguistics,
Goethe University Frankfurt a.M.