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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Book Information

   

Title: Time in Natural Language
Subtitle: Syntactic Interfaces with Semantics and Discourse
Written By: Ellen Thompson
URL: http://www.degruyter.de/rs/bookSingle.cfm?id=IS-3110184141-1&l=E
Series Title: Interface Explorations 11
Description:

Time in Natural Language investigates the relationship between the
syntactic and semantic representations of sentences within the domain of
tense. Assuming that tenses are semantically composed of three distinct
times, Thompson proposes that these times map onto the syntax in a regular
fashion: each time is associated with a unique syntactic head. Adopting the
Minimalist approach to syntactic theory, this approach makes possible
insightful analyses of syntactic structures involving temporal dependency.

Thompson argues that, depending on their adjunction site, temporal
adverbials modify different parts of the tense structure of the clause.
Locating the Event time within VP, it is correctly predicted that an
adverbial that modifies the Event time is adjoined to VP. On the other
hand, since the Reference time is argued to be within AspP, when an
adverbial is adjoined to AspP, it modifies the Reference time. The syntax
of temporal adjunct clauses is accounted for in a similar fashion; they may
be adjoined either to VP, where they are interpreted as simultaneous with
the matrix event, or to AspP, where they are interpreted as nonsimultaneous.

Thompson shows that the analysis sheds light on the less-studied issue of
the temporal syntax of arguments. Subjects with gerundive relative clauses
are claimed to be interpreted in VP at LF when the relative clause is
temporally dependent on the Event time of the main clause, and in TP when
the relative clause is dependent on the Speech time of the main clause. By
extending the syntactic proposal to investigate the discourse-level effects
of tense, an original analysis of the discourse representation of tense is
proposed. Thompson argues that the discourse representation of tense is
based on same primitives and subject to the same principles as the
syntactic representation of tense, based on an in-depth examination of the
structure and meaning of the temporal discourse adverb then.

Of interest to: Linguists and Graduate Students of Linguistics with an
interest in Syntax, Semantics, Syntax/Semantics Interface Issues, or the
theoretical Structure of English. The book can be used in Graduate courses
on Syntax or Syntax/Semantics, as well as Seminars on Tense or Verbal Syntax.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Semantics
Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110184141
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xv, 224
Prices: U.S. $ 109.20
Europe EURO 78.00