LINGUIST List 24.2373

Mon Jun 10 2013

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

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <>

Date: 08-Jun-2013
From: Brandon Beamer <>
Subject: An Event Restriction Interval Theory of Tense
E-mail this message to a friend

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:

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

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.

Page Updated: 10-Jun-2013