ERIC Number: EJ1172286
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Temporal Anaphora with Spanish "Imperfecto"
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v47 n2 p391-409 Apr 2018
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.
Descriptors: Grammar, Language Usage, Spanish, Sentence Structure, Romance Languages, Morphemes, Phrase Structure, Semantics, Pragmatics, Language Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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