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Definiteness effects and competition in tenses and aspects

Zhao, Ruoying; (2023) Definiteness effects and competition in tenses and aspects. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This dissertations explores the semantics and pragmatics of tense and aspect constructions in three groups of languages: I. English; II. French, Italian, German; III. Mandarin Chinese. The basic claims of this dissertation are: (i) the English past tense is lexically ambiguous between an anaphoric and a uniqueness reading; (ii) the different properties of the present perfect construction in English versus French, Italian and German follow from the competition between the present perfect with the alternative past tense and the different set of alternatives available in these languages; (iii) the distribution of the Mandarin Chinese perfective particles reflects asymmetry in their presuppositions, such as anaphoricity and anti-resultativeness; (iv) Mandarin Chinese differs from the languages in group I and II in that it establishes anaphoric dependency in the domain of eventualities, not times; (v) the crosslinguistic distribution of perfect-like tense-aspectual constructions follows from similar semantic-pragmatic strategies, namely the competition between alternatives from a set of general categories (anaphoric, unique, neutral, and antiresulative).

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Definiteness effects and competition in tenses and aspects
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163070
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