Temporal Anaphora with Spanish Imperfecto

Temporal Anaphora with Spanish Imperfecto This paper argues against the assumption that Spanish—and more generally Romance—imperfective past (IMP) is an intrinsically anaphoric tense. It is a widely accepted view that IMP requires a temporal discourse antecedent to be licensed. My aim is to show that such requirement is not actually in force when IMP combines with a stative/atelic predicate. In fact, with stative/atelic predicates, IMP (a) is acceptable in isolated sentences with no suitable antecedent available, (b) is able to access implicit assumptions that are not available with telic predicates—but do not behave as real antecedents, and (c) does not trigger certain perspectivisation effects that depend on the existence of a temporal antecedent. As a result, an asymmetry arises between continuous and habitual interpretations of IMP, which do not require retrieving a temporal antecedent, and progressive and narrative interpretations, which do need an accessible antecedent. Thus, the relevance of a discourse antecedent varies according to the lexical aspect of the predicate and the corresponding interpretations, and the alleged anaphoric nature of IMP cannot be a feature of its semantics: it is rather pragmatically derived from imperfectivity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Psycholinguistic Research Springer Journals

Temporal Anaphora with Spanish Imperfecto

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Psychology; Psychology, general; Cognitive Psychology; Psycholinguistics
ISSN
0090-6905
eISSN
1573-6555
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10936-017-9539-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper argues against the assumption that Spanish—and more generally Romance—imperfective past (IMP) is an intrinsically anaphoric tense. It is a widely accepted view that IMP requires a temporal discourse antecedent to be licensed. My aim is to show that such requirement is not actually in force when IMP combines with a stative/atelic predicate. In fact, with stative/atelic predicates, IMP (a) is acceptable in isolated sentences with no suitable antecedent available, (b) is able to access implicit assumptions that are not available with telic predicates—but do not behave as real antecedents, and (c) does not trigger certain perspectivisation effects that depend on the existence of a temporal antecedent. As a result, an asymmetry arises between continuous and habitual interpretations of IMP, which do not require retrieving a temporal antecedent, and progressive and narrative interpretations, which do need an accessible antecedent. Thus, the relevance of a discourse antecedent varies according to the lexical aspect of the predicate and the corresponding interpretations, and the alleged anaphoric nature of IMP cannot be a feature of its semantics: it is rather pragmatically derived from imperfectivity.

Journal

Journal of Psycholinguistic ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 29, 2017

References

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