Tense and Aspect: The contextual processing of semantic indeterminacy
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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Abstract. Various interpretations are available for when -clauses featuring present-tense verb forms: the clause may refer either to a past or future time-sphere, or to a world other than the "real" one. The reference may also be widened to a generic value, or processed as a nontemporal locus. Whether the interpretation is temporal or nontemporal, the reference value can never be strictly limited to to, or temporal zero-point. This paper explores the temporal properties of t0 and the construction of temporal and nontemporal loci. It is shown that although the temporal locus constructed by when is incompatible with t0, such is not the case for as. The incompatibility is therefore accounted for in terms of when's role as a particular kind of aspectualizer: indeed, all the examples tend to show that when imparts a perfective format to the locus constructed on the basis of the w/ien-clause situation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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