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LINGUIST List 20.1872

Fri May 15 2009

Books: Semantics/Philosophy of Lang: Jaszczolt

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Elyse Turr, Representing Time: Jaszczolt

Message 1: Representing Time: Jaszczolt
Date: 15-May-2009
From: Elyse Turr <elyse.turroup.com>
Subject: Representing Time: Jaszczolt
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Title: Representing Time
Subtitle: An Essay on Temporality as Modality
Published: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Author: Kasia M. Jaszczolt
Hardback: ISBN: 0199214433 9780199214433 Pages: 320 Price: U.S. $ 120.00
Paperback: ISBN: 0199214441 9780199214440 Pages: 320 Price: U.S. $ 49.95

Thinking and speaking about time is ridden with puzzles and paradoxes. How
do human beings conceptualize time? Why, for example, does the availability
of tense vary in different languages? How do the lines of information from
tense, aspect, temporal adverbs, and context interact in the mind? Does
time describe events? If real time does not flow, where do the concepts of
the past, present and future come from? Are they basic concepts or are they
composed out of more primitive constituents? And, finally, what is the
semantics of expressions with temporal reference? This book offers a new
approach to the representation of meaning of temporally-located utterances
and discourses. Temporality, the author suggests, should be taken to mean
degrees of certainty, understood in turn as degrees of acceptability
concerning the eventuality referred to in the speaker's utterance. She
presents theoretical arguments and empirical evidence from Indo-European
and non-Indo-European languages to show that speakers represent the past,
present, and future as degrees of epistemic modality. She argues that
temporality can be subsumed under the general label of acceptability or
attitude and, rather like the semantic category of evidentiality, founded
on the strength of evidence. In the approach she develops, modality
provides basic conceptual building blocks for the concept of time and at
the same time semantic building blocks for representing temporal
expressions in her framework of "Default Semantics." Dr. Jaszczolt sets the
results of her research in the context of linguistic and philosophical work
in semantics and pragmatics.

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language

Written In: English (eng )

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