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Abstract

Abstract

Abaza (Northwest Caucasian) has two perfective tenses which mark events in the past. In single clauses, however, one of them has a discontinuous interpretation. Recently, it has been argued that at least in some languages a discontinuous interpretation of past forms is a pragmatical implicature rather than a part of the encoded meaning. The aim of the paper is to describe the functions of the Abaza perfective past tenses and investigate the origin of the discontinuous interpretation in Abaza. Special attention is paid to the distribution of two tenses in various types of finite and non-finite clauses. The data show that there is no obligatory discontinuous interpretation in the syntactic environments where only one of the tenses can be used. However, the discontinuous interpretation does arise if two tenses compete with each other. Thus, the discontinuous implicature in Abaza can be considered a pragmatical implicature.

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/content/journals/10.1075/sl.23026.kly
2024-06-06
2024-06-19
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