Time with and without tense

Abstract

How is temporal information conveyed in language? In languages with tense it is direct; without tense, inference allows the receiver to arrive at an indirect temporal interpretation. I will discuss tensed and tenseless languages, proposing a unified approach that applies to both. I show that a few very general pragmatic principles account for temporal interpretation, direct and indirect.1 I assume that understanding a sentence requires that the receiver locate an event or state, spatially and temporally: time is one of the basic coordinates for truth conditional assessment. Sentences in all languages convey information that allows us to determine the temporal location of the situation expressed. One would like to understand how this happens. The pragmatic principles that I suggest constrain direct temporal interpretation and guide indirect. In languages with tense, tense gives direct temporal information; however certain apparent possibilities do not arise, due to the pragmatic constraints. In languages without tense, inference allows temporal interpretation. The key point in such languages..

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,363

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Temporal constraints on the meaning of evidentiality.Jungmee Lee - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):1-41.
Temporal semantics in a superficially tenseless language.Lisa Matthewson - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):673 - 713.
Predicate Metric Tense Logic for 'Now' and 'Then'.M. J. Cresswell - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):1-24.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-12-22

Downloads
51 (#232,519)

6 months
1 (#451,398)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

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.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references