Temporal relations

Journal of Semantics 5 (4):345-384 (1986)
An event or state can be located on the time dimension or given an extent of time. This can be done by adding a temporal prepositional phrase or subordinate clause to a sentence. We give here an analysis of the different temporal prepositions and subordinate conjunctions that are found in English. This analysis has two parts. The first takes the form of determining a set of rules for distinguishing the temporal use of such function words from other uses. The second gives rules for distinguishing the different semantic meanings of these words. These rules are then drawn together to produce a decision tree for selecting the appropriate function word, the function words appearing as the leaves of the tree. The English words are replaced by Dutch temporal function words, and the small differences between the two are noted. The criteria that are used to construct the selection trees provide the set of temporal Universal Linking Dimensions
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DOI 10.1093/jos/5.4.345
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