Project B10 (1999-2004):
Tense and Temporal Adverbials in Extensional and Intensional Contexts

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Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft

Binnick's bibliography on Tense, Aspect and Aktionsart



Former Staff

Fabrizio Arossio
          Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

Eva-Carin Gerö
University of Stockholm
Graham Katz
Institute for Cognitive Science 
Kolpingstr. 7, 49074 Osnabrück

Monika Rathert
        Graduiertenkolleg "Satzarten"
        Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
        Varrentrappstr. 40-42, 60486 Frankfurt a.M.


The aim of this project is to further develop a theory of the syntax, semantics and pragmatics of tense and temporal adverbs in typologically differing languages. 

Under the heading of extensional contexts, temporal conjunctions, temporal adverbs and quantificational adverbs will be investigated with respect to their compositionality with tense, aspect and negation. Of particular interest here are which ways of modifying conjunctions and adverbs are fundamentally possible and which meaning components these elements have access to. A further goal is to establish which parameters are responsible for typological variations. 

In intensional contexts, emphasis is on the consecutio temporum in regulating constructions, as well as on the potential for displacing tenses, adverbs and deictic expressions. Interpretational differences between relative clauses and complement clauses should be derived, and in so doing, typological variations must in turn be taken into consideration. Context theory should be futher developed in relation to subordinate D-structures, as should the theory of subjective meaning. Finally, the question of tense transferral in the case of modal verbs, as well as the relationship of the future tense to modality should be resolved. 

Complex, typologically varying data that are being analytically processed in two different databases (FileMaker/Annotate) form the empirical basis of these theoretical investigations. So far, data have been collected from ten different languages. The FileMaker database is a grammatical-typological archive intended to contain "classical" evidence supporting or contradicting the modern tense/aspect theories. The Annotate database encodes speaker intuitions regarding temporal and aspectual relations. This database can be further developed for a range of theoretical investigations (e.g. statistical research, parsing).

Our  database  for tense and aspect contains ca. 3000 entries and can be accesses on-line.

More about the project

Last modified 23.09.2004 by Doris Penka;  Translation by Angela Cook