Finding one's way in the labyrinth of forking paths. (The Semantics of the future tense: Part I.)

unified treatment of both (families of) interpretations is based on a revised notion of settledness. The main features of this approach are the following: (i) in branching structures, a world can be represented not by a single course of events, but by a node u in the tree, where u itself is seen as the cluster of courses of events passing through it; (ii) the utterance time is uniquely fixed; (iii) the utterance world is not uniquely fixed; (iv) because of (iii), an utterance-event is associated not to a single context, but to a plurality of contexts, depending on which world we are considering as the utterance world. As a consequence, if a future-tensed sentence φ is uttered at u and its truth (falsehood) is already a settled issue at u itself, then the sentence is true (false) at u; otherwise the sentence is neither true nor false at u and, to get a definite truth value, we must wait until settledness is reached in a different context. Since what is crucial, in both cases, is the reference to a given state of information, such a treatment can be extended to other intriguing uses of the future tense, starting from the epistemic reading. These uses will be topic of a related paper.
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