Temporal Information in Sentences of Mandarin

Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,350
External links
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

10 ( #141,834 of 1,096,702 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #271,187 of 1,096,702 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.