Thus, the unmarked member of the pair making no specific claim to
Result, is the more flexible, neutral, and open-ended of the two. It allows for any and
all kinds of perceptions of actions, states, or events. The marked member of the pair, making a
specific claim for Result, is reserved for those linguistic and situational contexts where
an action, state, or event must be perceived resultatively: i.e., taking its result in the form of a goal,
consequence, conclusion, destination, telic end-point, etc., into account.
In summary, this analysis is based on the assumption that the choice between these
linguistic signs is not determined arbitrarily by a kind of rule, nor for reasons of style or
register, but rather that the total non-random distribution of these signs in the language is directly
motivated by the subtle semantic distinction that exists between them. This subtle semantic distinction
is expressed in their marked versus unmarked invariant meanings which revolve around the features
of Process and Result: i.e., alternative ways of perceiving actions, states, and
events in the world.
Previous analyses of Process and Result (Tobin 1993)
analyzed the following troublesome lexical verb pairs: do (U) versus make
(M), look (U) versus see (M), listen (U) versus hear
(M), say (U) versus tell (M), speak (U) versus talk
(M), begin (U) versus start (M), end versus start (M),
shut versus close (M) as well as other lexical verbs, parts of speech other than
verbs, phrasal verbs and aspectuals; the role of the features Process and Result
in grammaticalization (the development from lexicon to grammar) of specific verbs such as the
auxiliary uses of the verbs: do (in interrogative, negative, and emphatic / imperative
constructions, be versus get (in passive constructions), and be
versus have (in progressive / continuous versus perfect tenses or aspects; as well as in
lexicalization (the development from grammar to lexicon) of irregular verbs in English, irregular
infinitives in Hebrew, and different form classes of infinitives in Spanish, French, and Italian.
In particular, Tobin (1993) presents analyses of how
the same marked semantic feature Result which already was shown to be part of the
lexicon also can become part of the grammar. Specifically, we trace the development of the
troublesome lexical pairs begin versus start and end versus
finish into aspectual verbs and extend this process of grammaticalization to the analysis
of the verbs do and be (neutral or unmarked verbs par excellence)
and get and have (archetypical verbs marked for the distinctive feature
Result) in their use as auxiliaries in the formation of different sentence modalities
(negative, interrogative, emphatic / imperative for do) as well as in passive
(be versus get) and progressive or continuous (be) versus perfect
(have) constructions. Finally, I postulate how the same marked semantic feature
Result may serve as a basis to explain what was previously thought of as phonologically
motivated irregularities in certain verbs in English and defective triconsonantal (CCC) roots in Semitic
languages, and present the feature as a means to explain irregular infinitive forms in Hebrew as well
as the various form classes of infinitives in Spanish, French and Italian. Tobin (1994/1995) analyzes the following troublesome lexical pairs in Hebrew
according to the same features Process and Result: lomar (U) vs.
lehagid (M) = 'to say/tell', lehamtin (U) versus lexakot (M) =
'to wait', laxzor (U) versus lashuv (M) = 'to return', lehatxil (U)
versus lehaxel (M) = 'to begin/start', and lesayem(U) versus
ligmor (M) = 'to end/finish/complete'.
In the present analysis I claim that the sign until is marked for
Result while the sign till is unmarked for Process and
Result. According to this analysis, this troublesome, "synonymous" lexical pair shares
a semantic domain of bringing entities to a spatial-temporal-existential boundary. Until
is marked for Result = makes a specific claim for the feature Result: i.e., the
result, goal, consequence, conclusion, destination, telic end-point, etc. is either stated explicitly or
implied. Till is unmarked for the feature Result = makes no specific claim
or is neutral concerning the feature Result: i.e., either the process and/or the result may
be stated explicitly or implied.
B. Chronos versus Kairos
According to Kermode (1985:76) there are two ways that time is
perceived and defined in Greek:
(a)Chronos, which indicates the "passing of time" or "waiting time," i.e.
(b)Kairos, which indicates "a point in time filled with a significance,
charged with a meaning derived from its relation to the end."
If we view these two temporal notions as semantic features, and postulate that
Kairos, the more cognitively complex of the two, is the marked feature, and then apply
these features to the signs till and until, we can further expand our analysis
as follows: the sign until marked for Result is also marked for the temporal
feature Kairos while the sign till unmarked for Process/Result is
also unmarked for the temporal features Chronos / Kairos.