On the Universal Principles of Tense Embedding: The Lesson from Before

Journal of Semantics 31 (2):ffs024 (2014)
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Next SectionLanguages that are classified as non-Sequence-of-Tense come in more than one variety (e.g., Arregui & Kusumoto 1998): some of these languages allow a past tense in before-clauses while others do not. We propose that some languages have quantificational (existential) tenses, while others have pronominal (referential/bound) tenses. The past tense in before-clauses is ill-formed in a language that has quantificational tenses, because the semantics of before is incompatible with existential quantification over times. A language with pronominal tenses does not have this problem. The pronominal/quantificational tense distinction interacts with the Sequence-of-Tense parameter, providing a general theory of possible and impossible languages



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Past time reference in a language with optional tense.M. Ryan Bochnak - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (4):247-294.
Past interpretation and graded tense in Medumba.Anne Mucha - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (1):1-52.
Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.

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