The Present Perfective Paradox across Languages

Hardcover | December 17, 2016

byAstrid De Wit

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This book presents an analysis of how speakers of typologically diverse languages report present-time situations. It begins from the assumption that there is a restriction on the use of the present tense to report present-time dynamic/perfective situations, while with stative/imperfectivesituations there are no such alignment problems. Astrid De Wit brings together cross-linguistic observations from English, French, the English-based creole language Sranan, and various Slavic languages, and relates them to the same phenomenon, the 'present perfective paradox'. The proposed analysisis founded on the assumption that there is an epistemic alignment constraint preventing the identification and reporting of events in their entirety at the time of speaking. This book discusses the various strategies that the aforementioned languages have developed to resolve this conceptualdifficulty, and demonstrates that many of the features of their tense-aspect systems can be regarded as the result of this conflict resolution. It also offers cognitively plausible explanations for the conceptual structures underlying the interactions attested between tense and aspect.

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This book presents an analysis of how speakers of typologically diverse languages report present-time situations. It begins from the assumption that there is a restriction on the use of the present tense to report present-time dynamic/perfective situations, while with stative/imperfectivesituations there are no such alignment problems....

Astrid De Wit holds a Ph.D in linguistics from the University of Antwerp (2014). She spent a year as a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles under a grant from the National Fund for Scientific Research. She has published wide...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pagesPublished:December 17, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198759533

ISBN - 13:9780198759539

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Table of Contents

General prefaceList of glosses1. Introduction2. An epistemic approach to the categories of tense and aspect3. The present perfective paradox: The state of the art4. The present perfective paradox in English5. The present perfective paradox in French6. The present perfective paradox in Sranan7. The present perfective paradox in Slavic8. Conclusion and wider relevanceReferencesIndex