Ups and Downs in the theory of temporal reference

Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (5):565-635 (2007)
Abstract
This paper proposes a method for computing the temporal aspects of the interpretations of a variety of Germa sentences. The method is strictly modular in the sense that it allows each meaning-bearing sentence constituent to make its own, separate, contribution to the semantic representation of any sentence containing it. The semantic representation of a sentence is reached in several stages. First, an ‘initial semantic representation’ is constructed, using a syntactic analysis of the sentence as input. This initial representation is then transformed into the definitive representation by a series of transformations which reflect the ways in which the contributions from different constituents of the sentence interact. Since the different constituents which make their respective contributions to the meaning of the sentence are in most instances ambiguous, the initial representations are typically of a high degree of underspecification.
Keywords Temporal reference  Ambiguity  Underspecification
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