The English resultative perfect and its relationship to the experiential perfect and the simple past tense

Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (3):323-351 (2008)
A sentence in the Resultative perfect licenses two inferences: (a) the occurrence of an event (b) the state caused by this event obtains at evaluation time. In this paper I show that this use of the perfect is subject to a large number of distributional restrictions that all serve to highlight the result inference at the expense of the event inference. Nevertheless, only the event inference determines the truth conditions of this use of the perfect, the result inference being a unique type of conventional implicature. I argue furthermore that, since the result state is singular, the event that causes it must also be singular, whereas the Experiential perfect is purely quantificational. But in out-of-the-blue contexts the past tense is also normally interpreted as singular. This leads to a certain amount of competition between the Resultative perfect and the past tense, and it is this competition, I suggest, that maintains the conventional (non-truth conditional) result state inference.
Keywords Resultative perfect  Experiential perfect  Target state  Conventional implicature  Specificity  Specific event  Singular event  Past tense  Perfect
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10988-008-9037-y
 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
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,106
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
From Discourse to Logic.Hans Kamp & Uwe Reyle - 1993 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Pragmatics.Stephen C. Levinson - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (1):123-127.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

101 ( #50,301 of 2,171,743 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,424 of 2,171,743 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums