This paper contributes to two debates: (i) the debate about whether or not ancient Greek has Free Indirect Discourse (FID), and (ii) the debate about how we should analyze FID semantically. We do this by showing that there is a distinction between FID and what we call Unembedded Indirect Discourse (UID). The semantic analysis that we develop for the latter shows that the two phenomena, though superficially similar, are semantically fundamentally different. We conclude that UID would have been more deserving (...) of the title ‘free indirect discourse’ than the more quotative and direct discourse-like narrative technique that is now confusingly called so. 1. (shrink)
Shows that both anaphoricity and egocentric de se binding play a crucial role in the interpretation of tense in discourse. Uses the English backwards shifted reading of the past tense in a mistaken time scenario to bring out the tension between these two features. Provides a suitable representational framework for the observed clash in the form of an extension of DRT in which updates of the common ground are accompanied by updates of each relevant agent's complex attitudinal state.
The wide range of interpretations of aoristic and imperfective aspect in Ancient Greek cannot be attributed to unambiguous aspectual operators but suggest an analysis in terms of coercion in the spirit of de Swart (Nat Lang Linguist Theory 16:347–385, 1998). But since such an analysis cannot explain the Ancient Greek data, we combine Klein’s (Time in language, 1994) theory of tense and aspect with Egg’s (Flexible semantics for reinterpretation phenomena, 2005) aspectual coercion approach. Following Klein. (grammatical) aspect relates the runtime (...) of an eventuality and the current time of reference (topic time). We claim that these relations can trigger aspectual selection restrictions (and subsequent aspectual coercions) just like e.g. aspectually relevant temporal adverbials, and are furthermore susceptible to the Duration Principle of Egg (Flexible semantics for reinterpretation phenomena, 2005): Properties of eventualities must be compatible with respect to the duration they specify for an eventuality. The Duration Principle guides the selection between different feasible coercion operators in cases of aspectual coercion but can also trigger coercions of its own. We analyse the interpretations of aorist and imperfective as cases of coercion that avoid impending violations of aspectual selection restrictions or of the Duration Principle, which covers cases that are problematic for de Swart’s (Nat Lang Linguist Theory 16:347–385, 1998) analysis. (shrink)