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LINGUIST List 24.2373

Mon Jun 10 2013

Diss: Semantics: Beamer: 'An Event Restriction Interval Theory of Tense'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

Date: 08-Jun-2013
From: Brandon Beamer <brandon.r.beamergmail.com>
Subject: An Event Restriction Interval Theory of Tense
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Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2012

Author: Brandon Beamer

Dissertation Title: An Event Restriction Interval Theory of Tense

Dissertation URL: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/237000624_An_Event_Restriction_Int

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics

Dissertation Director:
Peter N. Lasersohn
Tania Ionin
Roxana Girju
Timothy McCarthy

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation presents a novel theory of tense and tense-like
constructions. It is named after a key theoretical component of the theory,
the event restriction interval.

In Event Restriction Interval (ERI) Theory, sentences are semantically
evaluated relative to an index which contains two key intervals, the
evaluation interval and the event restriction interval. The evaluation
interval marks the present relative to context, and the event restriction
interval defines temporal boundaries on events. Various constituents,
called R-modifiers, operate on these two intervals compositionally, such
that each verb is evaluated relative to values which yield correct temporal
restrictions.

This dissertation develops ERI Theory to present an analysis of independent
clauses as well as embedded clauses of various types. One of the positive
aspects of ERI Theory is that it offers a purely semantic analysis of the
sequence of tense phenomena which occur in the latter. Also, a pragmatic
component is presented which accounts for a number of intuitions regarding
the usage of tense, while simultaneously providing a solution to some
problems related to tense and quantification over times.



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