LINGUIST List 18.1544|
Mon May 21 2007
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Tense Across Languages
Message 1: Tense Across Languages
From: Monika Rathert <m.rathertlingua.uni-frankfurt.de>
Subject: Tense Across Languages
Full Title: Tense Across Languages
Date: 27-Feb-2008 - 29-Feb-2008
Location: Bamberg, Germany
Contact Person: Monika Rathert
Meeting Email: m.rathertlingua.uni-frankfurt.de
Web Site: http://web.uni-frankfurt.de/fb10/rathert/forschung/dgfstense.html
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology; Semantics; Syntax
Call Deadline: 01-Sep-2007
Tense Across Languages, Workshop at the 30th annual meeting of the Deutsche
Gesellschaft fuer Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS), Bamberg, 27-29 February 2008.
Organized by Renate Musan (Universitaet Osnabrueck, FB Sprach- u.
Monika Rathert (Universitaet Frankfurt a.M., Institut für Kognitive Linguistik),
and Rolf Thieroff (Universitaet Osnabrueck, FB Sprach- u. Literaturwissenschaften).
This workshop deals with the expression of tense from a morphological, a
semantic and a syntactic point of view in European and non-European languages,
including sign languages. The workshop will concentrate on problems like tense
under attitudes and indirect speech, future constructions and the morphology of
tenses with special regard to tense or tense-like morphemes other than on the verb.
In various languages, tenses embedded under attitude verbs show different
effects: embedded tenses may or may not preserve their original deictic meaning
or they may be used as ''pure relative'' or as ''absolute-relative'' tenses in
the sense of Comrie (1985). Similarly, in indirect speech, tenses may or may not
undergo a shift of the deictic centre, i.e. they may be interpreted either from
the viewpoint of the original speaker or from the viewpoint of the reporting
speaker (cf. Comrie 1985: 107-117). In combination with certain mood categories
(such as the subjunctive in numerous European languages), the meanings of the
tenses may differ from the meaning in the indicative mood. In sum, in different
contexts the meaning of tenses can differ considerably from what grammar books
In almost all languages having a future tense, still in certain contexts the
present tense is or can be used with future time reference. In many languages,
more than one construction with future time reference is available (cf. English
will sing vs. is going to sing, French chantera vs. va chanter) and it is still
a riddle in which contexts which future construction is used and under what
conditions the present is used. Also in many languages (European and
non-European; cf. Ultan 1978) future tenses can be used to refer to future time
and in modal contexts. It is still an open question how modal and futurate
meaning can be unified.
In most languages, tense is morphologically marked on the verb. However, some
languages (e.g. Guaraní, St'at'imcets, Halkomelem) seem to mark tense both on
verbs and on nouns. The preconditions as well as the consequences of such
markers have not yet been fully described. Another important question to ask is
how adverbs and tenses interact semantically. Especially with perfect tenses,
adverbs can refer either to the situation time or to the reference time, and it
is still an open question which factors govern this.
Comrie, Bernard (1985): Tense. Cambridge: CUP.
Ultan, Russell (1978): The Nature of Future Tenses. In: J.G. Greenberg et al.
(ed.): Universals of Human Languages III, Stanford. 83-128.
Submission of Abstracts:
Please send your anonymous one-page abstract to all of the three following emails:
rmusanuni-osnabrueck.de, m.rathertlingua.uni-frankfurt.de, rolf.thieroffuos.de.
The abstract should be in plain text or in PDF format, and it should be in
English only. Please include the following information in the body of the email:
author's name(s), affiliation, email address, title of the abstract. The normal
time alotted for presentation is 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion.
Please note if you would be interested in a longer time-slot.
Deadline for abstract submission: 1 September 2007
Notification of acceptance: 15 September 2007
Provisional program: 15 December 2007
DGfS Conference: 27-29 February 2008
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