David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (1):43 - 99 (1978)
The only obligatory temporal expression in English is tense, yet Hans Reichenbach (1947) has argued convincingly that the simplest sentence is understood in terms of three temporal notions. Additional possibilities for a simple sentence are limited: English sentences have one time adverbial each. It is not immediately clear how to resolve these matters, that is, how (if at all) Reichenbach's account can be reconciled with the facts of English. This paper attempts to show that they can be reconciled, and presents an analysis of temporal specification that is based directly on Reichenbach's account.Part I is devoted to a study of the way the three times—speech time, reference time, event time—are realized and interpreted. The relevant syntactic structures and their interaction and interpretation are examined in detail. Part II discusses how a grammar should deal with time specification, and proposes a set of interpretive rules. The study offers an analysis of simple sentences, sentences with complements, and habitual sentences. It is shown that tense and adverbials function differently, depending on the structure in which they appear. The temporal system is relational: the orientation and values of temporal expressions are not fixed, but their relational values are consistent. This consistency allows the statement of principles of interpretation.
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References found in this work BETA
Hans Reichenbach (1980). Elements of Symbolic Logic. Dover Publications.
Bernard Comrie & Jerrold Sadock (1976). Toward a Linguistic Theory of Speech Acts. Philosophical Quarterly 26 (104):285.
H. J. Verkuyl (1975). On the Compositional Nature of the Aspects. Foundations of Language 12 (3):451-454.
James D. McCawley (1971). Tense and Time Reference in English. In Charles J. Fillmore & D. Terence Langėndoen (eds.), Studies in Linguistic Semantics. Irvington 96--113.
Paul Kiparsky (1968). Tense and Mood in Indo-European Syntax. Foundations of Language 4 (1):30-57.
Citations of this work BETA
Barbara H. Partes (1984). Nominal and Temporal Anaphora. Linguistics and Philosophy 7 (3):243--286.
Lisa Matthewson (2006). Temporal Semantics in a Superficially Tenseless Language. Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):673 - 713.
Mikhail Kissine (2008). Why Will is Not a Modal. Natural Language Semantics 16 (2):129-155.
David R. Dowty (1982). Tenses, Time Adverbs, and Compositional Semantic Theory. Linguistics and Philosophy 5 (1):23 - 55.
Toshiyuki Ogihara (1995). Double-Access Sentences and Reference to States. Natural Language Semantics 3 (2):177-210.
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