Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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This paper proposes a pragmatic solution to utterances where the various indicators of time and aspect (tenses, lexical-conceptual features of Aktionsart, adverb phrases and contextual cues) seem to have divergent temporal reference and aspectual properties. This type of cases is usually treated at the semantic level as ‘mismatches’ and resolved compositionally through logical operations of ‘aspectual coercion’. We suggest on the contrary that no such effect of ‘mismatch resolution’ or ‘coercion’ is at work: these utterances are worked out inferentially according to the various pieces of evidence they provide for their relevance, in line of Deirdre Wilson’s and Dan Sperber’s (1995) relevance theory. Such utterances give rise to cognitive effects that are hardly attainable by apparently more literal formulations, while being cost-effective. Our analysis follows the work of Escandell-Vidal and Leonetti (2011) about the rigidity and thus prevalence of computational linguistic expressions, called ‘procedural expressions’ by Blakemore (1987) within Sperber and Wilson’s (1995[1986]) framework, relevance theory.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): aspect; coercion; mismatches; procedural expressions; relevance; tense
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