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Abstract

Abstract

According to normative descriptions of Italian future-framed adverbial clauses, the future tense is the only option ( [F], ‘When you come, I’ll lend you the book’). However, the present tense may also be used ( [P], ). I demonstrate that choice and acceptance of the present in future-framed adverbials are conditioned by the speaker’s presumption of settledness; that is, in every future world compatible with the speaker’s beliefs the eventuality necessarily occurs. The data come from an online questionnaire consisting of a forced-choice and an acceptability judgment task completed by 429 native speakers of Italian, and were analyzed using mixed-effects regression. Results show that the present is chosen most and rated highest when the future eventuality is presumed settled ([+certain, +immediate, +temporally specific]). These findings demonstrate that speakers use the present to express confidence in the realization of future eventualities.

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2020-05-25
2020-07-07
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: future; Italian; settledness; pragmatics; present; subordinate clauses
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