In this work we consider the morphosyntactic and aspectual properties underlying the well-known impossibility for English present tense verbs to yield a continuous on-going interpretation. Systematically contrasting English with Italian, we extend the conclusion of Giorgi & Pianesi (1997), proposing that the phenomenon is the expression of a general interpretive restriction on anchoring conditions, to the effect that a perfective (topologically closed) events cannot be simultaneous with its temporal anchor, because the latter is always conceived as punctual. The strict link between perfectivity (a morphosyntactic property) and closeness (an interpretive one) suggests that English eventive verbs are always introduced into syntax as perfectives, this being due by general morphosyntactic properties of English. The empirical consequences and validity of such a set of hypothesis is tested against a wide range of languages (Creole languages, Fong Bè, etc.) which share with English the relevant morphsyntactic properties, concluding that the predictions are invariably borned out

Present Tense, Perfectivity and the Anchoring Conditions

Pianesi, Fabio
1997

Abstract

In this work we consider the morphosyntactic and aspectual properties underlying the well-known impossibility for English present tense verbs to yield a continuous on-going interpretation. Systematically contrasting English with Italian, we extend the conclusion of Giorgi & Pianesi (1997), proposing that the phenomenon is the expression of a general interpretive restriction on anchoring conditions, to the effect that a perfective (topologically closed) events cannot be simultaneous with its temporal anchor, because the latter is always conceived as punctual. The strict link between perfectivity (a morphosyntactic property) and closeness (an interpretive one) suggests that English eventive verbs are always introduced into syntax as perfectives, this being due by general morphosyntactic properties of English. The empirical consequences and validity of such a set of hypothesis is tested against a wide range of languages (Creole languages, Fong Bè, etc.) which share with English the relevant morphsyntactic properties, concluding that the predictions are invariably borned out
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/1486
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