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  1. Variation in Tense and Aspect, and the Temporal Interpretation of Complement Clauses.M. Ryan Bochnak, Vera Hohaus & Anne Mucha - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (3):407-452.
    In this paper, we investigate the temporal interpretation of propositional attitude complement clauses in four typologically unrelated languages: Washo, Medumba, Hausa, and Samoan. Of these languages, Washo and Medumba are optional-tense languages, while Hausa and Samoan are tenseless. Just like in obligatory-tense languages, we observe variation among these languages when it comes to the availability of so-called simultaneous and backward-shifted readings of complement clauses. For our optional-tense languages, we argue that a Sequence of Tense parameter is active in these languages, (...)
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  • Mood as Illocutionary Centering.Maria Bittner - unknown
    By this point, we have developed some articulated analyses of top-level temporal anaphora, including temporal quantification, in languages with grammatical tense and/or aspect systems, represented by English, Polish, and Mandarin. But it is still not clear how this approach might extend to temporal anaphora in a language such as Kalaallisut, which has neither grammatical tense nor grammatical aspect, but instead marks only grammatical mood and person. Most theories of mood and modal reference either ignore temporal reference or analyze modal and (...)
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  • Mood-Based Temporal Reference.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Last time we introduced the notion of an illocutionary perspective . The basic idea is that the very act of speaking up introduces several discourse referents. The speech act itself (e ) is introduced as the central perspective point ( ε ). In addition, all the speech spheres (p ) where this speech act is realized, as well as the worlds of each sphere (w ∈p ) are introduced as modal topics ( Ω and  ω ).
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  • Perspectival Plurality, Relativism, and Multiple Indexing.Dan Zeman - 2018 - In Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Vol. 2. Semantics Archives. pp. 1353-1370.
    In this paper I focus on a recently discussed phenomenon illustrated by sentences containing predicates of taste: the phenomenon of " perspectival plurality " , whereby sentences containing two or more predicates of taste have readings according to which each predicate pertains to a different perspective. This phenomenon has been shown to be problematic for (at least certain versions of) relativism. My main aim is to further the discussion by showing that the phenomenon extends to other perspectival expressions than predicates (...)
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  • Temporal Anaphora in Tenseless Languages: Day 1.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 1 of advanced course on "Temporal anaphora in tenseless languages" at 2006 ESSLLI.
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  • Aspectual Universals of Temporal Anaphora.Maria Bittner - 2008 - In Susan Rothstein (ed.), Theoretical and Crosslinguistic Approaches to the Semantics of Aspect. John Benjamins. pp. 11--349.
    It has long been recognized that temporal anaphora in French and English depends on the aspectual distinction between events and states. For example, temporal location as well as temporal update depends on the aspectual type. This paper presents a general theory of aspect-based temporal anaphora, which extends from languages with grammatical tenses (like French and English) to tenseless languages (e.g. Kalaallisut). This theory also extends to additional aspect-dependent phenomena and to non-atomic aspectual types, processes and habits, which license anaphora to (...)
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  • Tense, Mood, and Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Natural languages exhibit a great variety of grammatical paradigms. For instance, in English verbs are grammatically marked for tense, whereas in the tenseless Eskimo-Aleut language Kalaallisut they are marked for illocutionary mood. Although time is a universal dimension of the human experience and speaking is part of that experience, some languages encode reference to time without any grammatical tense morphology, or reference to speech acts without any illocutionary mood morphology. Nevertheless, different grammatical systems are semantically parallel in certain respects. Specifically, (...)
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  • Conditionals as Attitude Reports.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Most theories of conditionals and attitudes do not analyze either phenomenon in terms of the other. A few view attitude reports as a species of conditionals (e.g. Stalnaker 1984, Heim 1992). Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues for the opposite thesis: conditionals are a species of attitude reports. The argument builds on prior findings that conditionals are modal topic-comment structures (e.g. Haiman 1978, Bittner 2001), and that in mood-based Kalaallisut English future (e.g. Ole will win) translates into a (...)
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  • Time and Modality Without Tenses or Modals.Maria Bittner - 2011 - In Renate Musan & Monika Rathert (eds.), Tense across Languages. Niemeyer. pp. 147--188.
    In English, discourse reference to time involves grammatical tenses interpreted as temporal anaphors. Recently, it has been argued that conditionals involve modal discourse anaphora expressed by a parallel grammatical system of anaphoric modals. Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues that temporal and modal anaphora can be just as precise in a language that does not have either grammatical category. Instead, temporal anaphora directly targets eventualities of verbs, without mediating tenses, while modal anaphora involves anaphoric moods and/or attitudinal verbs.
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  • Past Time Reference in a Language with Optional Tense.M. Bochnak - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (4):247-294.
    In this paper, I analyze the verbal suffix -uŋil in Washo as an optional past tense. It is optional in the sense that it is not part of a paradigm of tenses, and morphologically tenseless clauses are also compatible with past time reference. Specifically, I claim that -uŋil is the morphological exponent of a tense feature [past], which presupposes that the reference time of the clause, denoted by a temporal pronoun, precedes the evaluation time. Meanwhile, morphologically tenseless clauses lack a (...)
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  • Evidentiality and the Structure of Speech Acts.Sarah E. Murray - 2010 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    Many languages grammatically mark evidentiality, i.e., the source of information. In assertions, evidentials indicate the source of information of the speaker while in questions they indicate the expected source of information of the addressee. This dissertation examines the semantics and pragmatics of evidentiality and illocutionary mood, set within formal theories of meaning and discourse. The empirical focus is the evidential system of Cheyenne (Algonquian: Montana), which is analyzed based on several years of fieldwork by the author.
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  • Temporal Reference in Paraguayan Guaraní, a Tenseless Language.Judith Tonhauser - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):257-303.
    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, (...)
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  • Temporal Interpretation in Hausa.Anne Mucha - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (5):371-415.
    This paper provides a formal analysis of the grammatical encoding of temporal information in Hausa (Chadic, Afro-Asiatic), thereby contributing to the recent debate on temporality in languages without overt tense morphology. By testing the hypothesis of covert tense against recently obtained empirical data, the study yields the result that Hausa is tenseless and that temporal reference is pragmatically inferred from aspectual, modal and contextual information. The second part of the paper addresses the coding of future in particular. It is shown (...)
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  • Temporal Semantics in a Superficially Tenseless Language.Lisa Matthewson - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):673 - 713.
    This paper contributes to the debate about ‘tenseless languages’ by defending a tensed analysis of a superficially tenseless language. The language investigated is St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish). I argue that although St’át’imcets lacks overt tense morphology, every finite clause in the language possesses a phonologically covert tense morpheme; this tense morpheme restricts the reference time to being non-future. Future interpretations, as well as ‘past future’ would-readings, are obtained by the combination of covert tense with an operator analogous to Abusch’s (1985) WOLL. (...)
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  • Temporal Interpretation Without Tense: Korean and Japanese Coordination Constructions: Articles.Jungmee Lee & Judith Tonhauser - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (3):307-341.
    Matrix clauses are tensed in Korean and Japanese, but both languages have coordination constructions where any non-final conjunct may or, in the case of Japanese, must be untensed. Building on analyses of the temporal interpretation of tenseless languages such as Yucatec Maya and Kalaallisut, this article argues that a truly tenseless analysis of the temporal interpretation of these non-final conjuncts is possible once the effects of Aktionsart and the discourse context on temporal interpretation are taken into consideration. The formal semantic (...)
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  • Past Interpretation and Graded Tense in Medumba.Anne Mucha - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (1):1-52.
    This paper provides a formal semantic analysis of past interpretation in Medumba, a graded tense language. Based on original fieldwork, the study explores the empirical behavior and meaning contribution of graded past morphemes in Medumba and relates these to the account of the phenomenon proposed in Cable for Gĩkũyũ. Investigation reveals that the behavior of Medumba gradedness markers differs from that of their Gĩkũyũ counterparts in meaningful ways and, more broadly, discourages an analysis as presuppositional eventuality or reference time modifiers. (...)
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  • Beyond the Past, Present, and Future: Towards the Semantics of ‘Graded Tense’ in Gĩkũyũ. [REVIEW]Seth Cable - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (3):219-276.
    In recent years, our understanding of how tense systems vary across languages has been greatly advanced by formal semantic study of languages exhibiting fewer tense categories than the three commonly found in European languages. However, it has also often been reported that languages can sometimes distinguish more than three tenses. Such languages appear to have ‘graded tense’ systems, where the tense morphology serves to track how far into the past or future a reported event occurs. This paper presents a formal (...)
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  • Temporal Constraints on the Meaning of Evidentiality.Jungmee Lee - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):1-41.
    This paper explores how the meaning of evidentiality is temporally constrained, by investigating the meaning of Korean evidential sentences with –te. Unlike evidential sentences in languages that have previously been formally analyzed , e.g. Cuzco Quechua and Cheyenne, Korean evidential sentences with –te are compatible with both direct and indirect evidence types. In this paper, I analyze –te as an evidential that lexically encodes the meaning of a ‘sensory observation’. I account for the availability of both direct and indirect evidential (...)
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