Previous analyses of Amharic have attributed aspect to the verb stem form. Although
the "imperfective" stem does encode imperfective aspect and the "gerundive"
stem does encodes perfect aspect, the "perfective" stem is used to make the progressive,
which by definition has imperfective aspect. I therefore propose that the
"perfective" stem is underspecified for aspect.
I also discuss three moods: the prospective, conditional, and counterfactual. I
argue that the prospective is primarily a modal marker, although it can have temporal
implications. Both the conditional and the counterfactual are marked by dedicated
markers and have fixed, fake aspect. Both forms are underspecified for real aspect.
Counterfactuals can be further removed from the real world by the marker /noro/ or,
in some cases, past tense marking.