David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):223-256 (2011)
We offer a formal account of the English past tenses. We see the perfect as having reference time at speech time and the preterite as having reference time at event time. We formalize four constraints on reference time, which we bundle together under the term ‘perspective’. Once these constraints are satisfied at the different reference times of the perfect and preterite, the contrasting functions of these tenses are explained. Thus we can account formally for the ‘definiteness effect’ and the ‘lifetime effect’ of the perfect, for the fact that the perfect seems to ‘explain’ something about the present, and that the perfect cannot presuppose a past time point. We explain why perfect and preterite can sometimes be interchangeable, and we offer a solution to the ’present perfect puzzle’. We explain the unacceptability of notorious examples of the perfect such as * Gutenberg has discovered the art of printing . We give greater definition to the familiar notions of ‘current relevance’ and ‘extended now’
|Keywords||Past tenses Perfect Preterite Reference time Lifetime effect Presuppositions Update|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
David R. Dowty (1977). Toward a Semantic Analysis of Verb Aspect and the English 'Imperfective' Progressive. Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (1):45 - 77.
Anita Mittwoch (1988). Aspects of English Aspect: On the Interaction of Perfect, Progressive and Durational Phrases. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 11 (2):203 - 254.
Renate Musan (1997). Tense, Predicates, and Lifetime Effects. Natural Language Semantics 5 (3):271-301.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Gerhard Schaden (2009). Present Perfects Compete. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (2):115-141.
Anita Mittwoch (2008). The English Resultative Perfect and its Relationship to the Experiential Perfect and the Simple Past Tense. Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (3):323-351.
Seth Cable (2013). Beyond the Past, Present, and Future: Towards the Semantics of ‘Graded Tense’ in Gĩkũyũ. [REVIEW] Natural Language Semantics 21 (3):219-276.
Maria Bittner (2011). Time and Modality Without Tenses or Modals. In Renate Musan & Monika Rathert (eds.), Tense across Languages. Niemeyer. 147--188.
Benjamin S. Pryor (2011). On the “Perfect Time of Human Experience”. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1):65-78.
Added to index2011-12-10
Total downloads24 ( #80,873 of 1,413,360 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #94,237 of 1,413,360 )
How can I increase my downloads?