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Temporal Interpretation of Non-finite Adjuncts in English

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Authors
Lee, Sungbom
Issue Date
1997-12
Publisher
서울대학교 언어교육원
Citation
어학연구, Vol.33 No.4, pp. 563-580
Abstract
There are adjunct clauses in English that have no overt tense
morphology. For example, the underlined parts of the sentences - No one
knows what Joe did before coming to this town or While painting the
old house, they thought they saw a ghost rambling in the basement, are
non-finite adjuncts. The matrix clauses in English exhibit tense
morphology and thus have direct access to the time of utterance for
temporal interpretation. In contrast, non-finite adjuncts contain "no
component sensitive to the time of utterance" (Richards 1982: 67), and
fail to have direct access to the speech time. They must be linked in
some way to the matrix tense to get temporally interpreted. This paper
addresses to the question of how such NFA's are interpreted temporally.
The paper will show that neither the operator analysis nor the deletion
analysis is successful in handling the temporal interpretation of NFA's.
Adopting En~'s binding analysis of tense that treats tenses as referential
expressions that denote times, I will propose a set of interpretation rules
of NFA's. In doing so I will examine En~'s claim that the interpretation
of tenses is subject to syntactic conditions that are reminiscent of the
binding conditions for the interpretation of anaphors and pronominals. I
will show that NFA's are interpreted in terms of semantic inclusion and
that this semantic relation is not subject to any significant syntactic
constraints.
ISSN
0254-4474
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/86085
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 33 Number 1/4 (1997)
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