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Temporality: Universals and Variation

Wiley-Blackwell (2014)

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  1. In Defense of the Reference Time.Daniel Altshuler & Susanna Melkonian-Altshuler - 2014 - Semantics-Syntax Interface 1 (2):133-149.
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  • 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-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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  • Topic States in Mandarin Discourse.Maria Bittner - forthcoming - In Michael Opper (ed.), Proceedings of the 25th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics. Ohio State University.
    I propose that Mandarin 。-sentences (units marked by 。) are aspectual topic-comment sequences, where an initial update (terminating in a pause) introduces a topic state for comment by one or more clauses. Each comment anaphorically refers to the topic state via the aspect feature of the verbal predicate. This proposal explains why Mandarin 。-sentences have controversial boundaries, since speakers may disagree where one topic state ends and the next one begins. It also explains various manifestations of aspect-prominence and topic-prominence in (...)
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  • NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (2): Anaphora.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 2: Anaphora. Abstract: Cross-linguistic evidence shows that anaphora crucially involves context change. The logical representation system must be able to represent rank-based anaphora, because in every language the favorite anaphors -- e.g. Mandarin zeros, Kalaallisut inflections, English pronouns -- are restricted to refer to top-ranked antecedents (top-level anaphors, like Mandarin zeros or Kalaallisut inflections) or top- or 2nd-ranked antecedents (shallow anaphors, like English pronouns).
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  • Amele Switch Reference as Temporal Recentering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Amele (Papuan, New Guinea) is a tense-mood-based language (in the typology of Bittner 2014) with an elaborate system of clause chaining, including switch reference (SR) and serial verb constructions (SVC). This draft analyzes two interlinear Amele texts (from Roberts 2007) in Update with Centering of Bittner (2014). The basic idea is that an SR-chain is a topic-comment sequence about a 'topical development' — i.e. a topic time framing a chain of causally linked events. In contrast, an SVC is a chain (...)
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  • NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (4): Temporality.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 4: Temporality. Abstract: Cross-linguistic evidence shows that temporal reference likewise involves context change. In every language, temporal reference is similar to top-level nominal reference, except that instead of updating or referring to top-ranked individuals, temporal grammatical systems update or refer to top-ranked temporal referents (events, states, or times). We discuss and compare temporal reference in two sample languages: tense-based English and tenseless aspect-based Mandarin.
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  • Nominal Quantification as Top-Level Anaphora.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    So far, we have focused on discourse reference to atomic individuals and specific times, events, and states. The basic point of the argument was that all types of discourse reference involve attention-guided anaphora (in the sense of Bittner 2012: Ch. 2). We now turn to discourses involving anaphora to and by quantificational expressions. Today, we focus on quantification over individuals but the analysis we develop will directly generalize to other semantic types. The basic idea is that quantification is one more (...)
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  • Tense as Temporal Centering.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Abstract According to an influential theory, English tenses are anaphoric to an aforementioned reference point. This point is sometimes construed as a time (e.g. Reichenbach 1947, Partee 1973, Stone 1997) and sometimes as an event (e.g. Kamp 1979, 1981, Webber 1988). Moreover, some researchers draw semantic parallels between tenses and pronouns (e.g. Partee 1973, 1984, Stone 1997), whereas others draw parallels between tenses and anaphorically anchored (in)definite descriptions (e.g. Webber 1988). This paper proposes a unified approach.
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  • NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (1): Introduction.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 1: Introduction. Abstract: Dynamic semantics is a family of semantic theories that seek to explicate the intuition that saying something changes the context for what follows. We survey the development of formal semantics from static to dynamic formalisms since 1970s. Throughout, we highlight natural language phenomena that motivate dynamic semantics, and the key pre-theoretical concepts -- information state, update, and discourse referent -- which can be implemented in different ways and thus (...)
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  • NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (5): Quantification.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 5: Quantification. Abstract: In discourse, quantifiers can function as antecedents or anaphors. We analyze a sample discourse in Dynamic Plural Logic (DPlL, van den Berg 1993, 1994), which represents not only current discourse referents, but also current relations by means of plural information states. This makes it possible to analyze quantification as structured discourse reference. Finally, the DPlL analysis is transposed into Update with Centering, to simplify the formalism and relate quantification (...)
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