David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
All languages allow speakers and receivers to locate situations in time. In this chapter, we explore how temporal information is conveyed in Mandarin. The language does not have tense morphemes, and aspectual viewpoint is not obligatory, yet people are able to arrive at consistent temporal interpretations. We identify the resources that convey the relevant information, and state principles for temporal interpretation.1 There is a precept of linguistic research that counsels a strategy of explicitness: study a domain in languages that code it explicitly, to understand the domain in languages that do not. We use the strategy of explicitness to study temporal location. Tense and aspectual viewpoint, key factors in temporal location, are obligatory in sentences of English. After formulating principles for how temporal information is conveyed in English, we are better able to understand it in Mandarin. We begin with a sketch of the English system. We generalize to a default principle of interpretation that applies to languages with and without tense, and then give principles and make predictions about temporal location in Mandarin. In the second part of this chapter we report a study of six Mandarin texts, in which we tested our predictions. The predictions were borne out, as demonstrated with examples and discussion.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Carlota S. Smith (1978). The Syntax and Interpretation of Temporal Expressions in English. Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (1):43 - 99.
Orly Fuhrman, Kelly McCormick, Eva Chen, Heidi Jiang, Dingfang Shu, Shuaimei Mao & Lera Boroditsky (2011). How Linguistic and Cultural Forces Shape Conceptions of Time: English and Mandarin Time in 3D. Cognitive Science 35 (7):1305-1328.
Maria Bittner (2008). Aspectual Universals of Temporal Anaphora. In Susan Rothstein (ed.), Theoretical and Crosslinguistic Approaches to the Semantics of Aspect. John Benjamins. 11--349.
Judith Tonhauser (2011). Temporal Reference in Paraguayan Guaraní, a Tenseless Language. Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):257-303.
Fabrizio Arosio (2010). Infectum and Perfectum. Two Faces of Tense Selection in Romance Languages. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (3):171-214.
Katalin Farkas (2008). Time, Tense, Truth. Synthese 160 (2):269 - 284.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads9 ( #126,509 of 1,004,648 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,617 of 1,004,648 )
How can I increase my downloads?