The semantics of the future
Author(s)Copley, Bridget, Lynn, 1974-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.
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Natural languages use a number of different methods to refer to future eventualities: among them are futurates, as in (la), and futures, as in (lb) and (c). (1) a. The Red Sox (are) play(ing) the Yankees tomorrow. b. We'll change your oil in Madera. c. We're going to change your oil in Madera. This dissertation uses evidence primarily from English, with additional data from Turkish and Indonesian, to argue that these methods all involve universal quantification over subsets of metaphysically accessible futures. One factor in determining which worlds a modal quantifies over is the temporal argument of the modal's accessibility relation. It is well-known that a higher tense affects the accessibility relation of modals. What is not well-known is that there are aspectual operators high enough to affect the accessibility relation of modals. New data presented in this dissertation reveal the presence of aspectual operators located between TP and the future modal projection. The effects of these operators on truth and assertability conditions provide substantial information about the correct characterization of future modality, and indeed of modality in general. Furthermore, the very existence of such aspectual operators raises questions about how aspect is represented in the semantics, if (as is generally assumed) aspectual operators take event arguments, which do not occur outside of the verb phrase.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2002.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 142-144).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistics and Philosophy.