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  1. Human Imprints of Real Time: from Semantics to Metaphysics.K. M. Jaszczolt - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (5):1855-1879.
    Investigation into the reality of time can be pursued within the ontological domain or it can also span human thought and natural language. I propose to approach time by correlating three domains of inquiry: metaphysical time, the human concept of time, and temporal reference in natural language, entertaining the possibility of what I call a ‘horizontal reduction’ and ‘vertical reduction’. I present a view of temporalityL/E as epistemic modality, drawing on evidence from the L domain and its correlates in the (...)
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  • Past Interpretation and Graded Tense in Medumba.Anne Mucha - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (1):1-52.
    This paper provides a formal semantic analysis of past interpretation in Medumba, a graded tense language. Based on original fieldwork, the study explores the empirical behavior and meaning contribution of graded past morphemes in Medumba and relates these to the account of the phenomenon proposed in Cable for Gĩkũyũ. Investigation reveals that the behavior of Medumba gradedness markers differs from that of their Gĩkũyũ counterparts in meaningful ways and, more broadly, discourages an analysis as presuppositional eventuality or reference time modifiers. (...)
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  • Temporal Interpretation in Hausa.Anne Mucha - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (5):371-415.
    This paper provides a formal analysis of the grammatical encoding of temporal information in Hausa (Chadic, Afro-Asiatic), thereby contributing to the recent debate on temporality in languages without overt tense morphology. By testing the hypothesis of covert tense against recently obtained empirical data, the study yields the result that Hausa is tenseless and that temporal reference is pragmatically inferred from aspectual, modal and contextual information. The second part of the paper addresses the coding of future in particular. It is shown (...)
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  • Temporal Semantics in a Superficially Tenseless Language.Lisa Matthewson - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):673 - 713.
    This paper contributes to the debate about ‘tenseless languages’ by defending a tensed analysis of a superficially tenseless language. The language investigated is St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish). I argue that although St’át’imcets lacks overt tense morphology, every finite clause in the language possesses a phonologically covert tense morpheme; this tense morpheme restricts the reference time to being non-future. Future interpretations, as well as ‘past future’ would-readings, are obtained by the combination of covert tense with an operator analogous to Abusch’s (1985) WOLL. (...)
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  • Past Time Reference in a Language with Optional Tense.M. Bochnak - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (4):247-294.
    In this paper, I analyze the verbal suffix -uŋil in Washo as an optional past tense. It is optional in the sense that it is not part of a paradigm of tenses, and morphologically tenseless clauses are also compatible with past time reference. Specifically, I claim that -uŋil is the morphological exponent of a tense feature [past], which presupposes that the reference time of the clause, denoted by a temporal pronoun, precedes the evaluation time. Meanwhile, morphologically tenseless clauses lack a (...)
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  • Temporal Constraints on the Meaning of Evidentiality.Jungmee Lee - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):1-41.
    This paper explores how the meaning of evidentiality is temporally constrained, by investigating the meaning of Korean evidential sentences with –te. Unlike evidential sentences in languages that have previously been formally analyzed , e.g. Cuzco Quechua and Cheyenne, Korean evidential sentences with –te are compatible with both direct and indirect evidence types. In this paper, I analyze –te as an evidential that lexically encodes the meaning of a ‘sensory observation’. I account for the availability of both direct and indirect evidential (...)
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  • Beyond the Past, Present, and Future: Towards the Semantics of ‘Graded Tense’ in Gĩkũyũ. [REVIEW]Seth Cable - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (3):219-276.
    In recent years, our understanding of how tense systems vary across languages has been greatly advanced by formal semantic study of languages exhibiting fewer tense categories than the three commonly found in European languages. However, it has also often been reported that languages can sometimes distinguish more than three tenses. Such languages appear to have ‘graded tense’ systems, where the tense morphology serves to track how far into the past or future a reported event occurs. This paper presents a formal (...)
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  • Chinese Comparatives and Their Implicational Parameters.Jo-Wang Lin - 2009 - Natural Language Semantics 17 (1):1-27.
    This paper argues that superiority comparatives in Mandarin Chinese are all phrasal comparatives that can be directly interpreted, and makes a new suggestion of taking the bǐ-phrase (‘compare-phrase’) to be an adjunct and one constituent, but with bǐ-shells. This syntactic analysis allows one to combine into one phrase various compared constituents that would otherwise not be analyzed as forming a phrase by themselves. Semantically, in extension of work by Heim as well as Bhatt and Takahashi, bǐ is taken to compare (...)
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  • The Emergence of Temporal Language in Nicaraguan Sign Language.Annemarie Kocab, Ann Senghas & Jesse Snedeker - 2016 - Cognition 156:147-163.
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  • How Cross-Linguistic Differences in the Grammaticalization of Future Time Reference Influence Intertemporal Choices.Dieter Thoma & Agnieszka E. Tytus - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (3):974-1000.
    According to Chen's Linguistic Savings Hypothesis, our native language affects our economic behavior. We present three studies investigating how cross-linguistic differences in the grammaticalization of future-time reference affect intertemporal choices. In a series of decision scenarios about finance and health issues, we let speakers of altogether five languages that represent FTR with increasing strength, that is, Chinese, German, Danish, Spanish, and English, choose between hypothetical sooner-smaller and later-larger reward options. While the LSH predicts a present-bias that increases with FTR-strength, our (...)
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  • Variation in Tense and Aspect, and the Temporal Interpretation of Complement Clauses.M. Ryan Bochnak, Vera Hohaus & Anne Mucha - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (3):407-452.
    In this paper, we investigate the temporal interpretation of propositional attitude complement clauses in four typologically unrelated languages: Washo, Medumba, Hausa, and Samoan. Of these languages, Washo and Medumba are optional-tense languages, while Hausa and Samoan are tenseless. Just like in obligatory-tense languages, we observe variation among these languages when it comes to the availability of so-called simultaneous and backward-shifted readings of complement clauses. For our optional-tense languages, we argue that a Sequence of Tense parameter is active in these languages, (...)
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  • Evidentiality, Learning Events and Spatiotemporal Distance: The View From Bulgarian.Todor Koev - 2016 - Journal of Semantics:ffv014.
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  • Perspectival Plurality, Relativism, and Multiple Indexing.Dan Zeman - 2018 - In Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Vol. 2. Semantics Archives. pp. 1353-1370.
    In this paper I focus on a recently discussed phenomenon illustrated by sentences containing predicates of taste: the phenomenon of " perspectival plurality " , whereby sentences containing two or more predicates of taste have readings according to which each predicate pertains to a different perspective. This phenomenon has been shown to be problematic for (at least certain versions of) relativism. My main aim is to further the discussion by showing that the phenomenon extends to other perspectival expressions than predicates (...)
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  • Brains, Genes, and Language Evolution: A New Synthesis.Morten H. Christiansen & Nick Chater - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):537-558.
    Our target article argued that a genetically specified Universal Grammar (UG), capturing arbitrary properties of languages, is not tenable on evolutionary grounds, and that the close fit between language and language learners arises because language is shaped by the brain, rather than the reverse. Few commentaries defend a genetically specified UG. Some commentators argue that we underestimate the importance of processes of cultural transmission; some propose additional cognitive and brain mechanisms that may constrain language and perhaps differentiate humans from nonhuman (...)
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  • Universals in Semantics.Kai von Fintel & Lisa Matthewson - manuscript
    This article surveys the state of the art in the field of semantic universals. We examine potential semantic universals in three areas: (i) the lexicon, (ii) semantic “glue” (functional morphemes and composition principles), and (iii) pragmatics. At the level of the lexicon, we find remarkably few convincing semantic universals. At the level of functional morphemes and composition principles, we discuss a number of promising constraints, most of which require further empirical testing and/or refinement. In the realm of pragmatics, we predict (...)
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  • Topic States in Mandarin Discourse.Maria Bittner - forthcoming - In Michael Opper (ed.), Proceedings of the 25th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics. Ohio State University.
    I propose that Mandarin 。-sentences (units marked by 。) are aspectual topic-comment sequences, where an initial update (terminating in a pause) introduces a topic state for comment by one or more clauses. Each comment anaphorically refers to the topic state via the aspect feature of the verbal predicate. This proposal explains why Mandarin 。-sentences have controversial boundaries, since speakers may disagree where one topic state ends and the next one begins. It also explains various manifestations of aspect-prominence and topic-prominence in (...)
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  • NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (4): Temporality.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 4: Temporality. Abstract: Cross-linguistic evidence shows that temporal reference likewise involves context change. In every language, temporal reference is similar to top-level nominal reference, except that instead of updating or referring to top-ranked individuals, temporal grammatical systems update or refer to top-ranked temporal referents (events, states, or times). We discuss and compare temporal reference in two sample languages: tense-based English and tenseless aspect-based Mandarin.
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  • Temporal Reference in Paraguayan Guaraní, a Tenseless Language.Judith Tonhauser - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):257-303.
    This paper contributes data from Paraguayan Guaraní (Tupí-Guaraní) to the discussion of how temporal reference is determined in tenseless languages. The empirical focus of this study is on finite clauses headed by verbs inflected only for person/number information, which are compatible only with non-future temporal reference in most matrix clause contexts. The paper first explores the possibility of accounting for the temporal reference of such clauses with a phonologically empty non-future tense morpheme, along the lines of Matthewson’s (Linguist Philos 29:673–713, (...)
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  • Temporal Interpretation Without Tense: Korean and Japanese Coordination Constructions: Articles.Jungmee Lee & Judith Tonhauser - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (3):307-341.
    Matrix clauses are tensed in Korean and Japanese, but both languages have coordination constructions where any non-final conjunct may or, in the case of Japanese, must be untensed. Building on analyses of the temporal interpretation of tenseless languages such as Yucatec Maya and Kalaallisut, this article argues that a truly tenseless analysis of the temporal interpretation of these non-final conjuncts is possible once the effects of Aktionsart and the discourse context on temporal interpretation are taken into consideration. The formal semantic (...)
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  • Time on Our Hands: How Gesture and the Understanding of the Past and Future Helped Shape Language.Michael C. Corballis - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):517-517.
    Recognising that signed languages are true languages adds to the variety of forms that languages can take. Such recognition also allows one to differentiate those aspects of language that depend on the medium (voiced or signed) from those that depend on more cognitive aspects. At least some aspects of language, such as symbolic representation, time markers, and generativity, may derive from the communication of the products of mental time travel, and from the sharing of remembered past and planned future episodes.
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