Temporal reference in Paraguayan Guaraní, a tenseless language

Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):257-303 (2011)
Abstract
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, 2006 ) analysis of a similar phenomenon in St’át’imcets (Salish). This analysis is then contrasted with one according to which temporal reference is not constrained by tense in Paraguayan Guaraní, but only by context and temporal adverbials. A comparison of the two analyses, both of which are couched in a dynamic semantic framework, suggests empirical and theoretical advantages of the tenseless analysis over the tensed one. The paper concludes with a discussion of cross-linguistic variation of temporal reference in tensed and tenseless languages
Keywords Temporal reference  Tenseless languages  Paraguayan Guaraní  Future discourse
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-011-9097-2
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From Discourse to Logic.Hans Kamp & Uwe Reyle - 1993 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Elements of Symbolic Logic.Hans Reichenbach - 1947 - Dover Publications.
Word Meaning and Montague Grammar.David R. Dowty - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (2):290-295.

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Nominal Tense and Temporal Implicatures: Evidence From Mbyá.Guillaume Thomas - 2014 - Natural Language Semantics 22 (4):357-412.
Temporal Interpretation in Hausa.Anne Mucha - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (5):371-415.
Past Interpretation and Graded Tense in Medumba.Anne Mucha - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (1):1-52.

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