TitleTemporal interpretation in narrative discourse and event internal reference
NameAltshuler, Daniel Gordon (author), Schwarzschild, Roger (chair), Bittner, Maria (internal member), Stone, Matthew (internal member), PARTEE, BARBARA (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Grammar, Comparative and general,
English language--Verb phrase,
Russian language--Verb phrase,
DescriptionThis dissertation argues that aspectual markers denote birelational functions from a set of events denoted by a verb-phrase (VP) to a set of VP-event-parts that are
located relative to: (i) an input encoding explicitly temporal information and (ii) an input encoding information about discourse connectivity. The proposed
analysis is implemented within Compositional Discourse Representation Theory and accounts for temporal interpretation in narrative discourse. The view that aspect describes VP-event-parts allows a straightforward comparison between the English progressive and the Russian imperfective. Both
lead to the imperfective paradox because when they combine with VPs describing non-atomic events, any one of the VP-event-parts satisfies their truth-conditions.
When the base-VP describes atomic events, however, the Russian imperfective leads to an entailment that the described event culminated because the only eventpart
that could satisfy its truth-conditions is the VP-event. In the case of the English progressive, however, coercion takes place because its truth-conditions require proper VP-event-parts. The view that aspect is birelational provides an explanation of why the Russian imperfective could lead to an entailment that the described event: (iii) took place within some salient time and (iv) did not follow a salient discourse
event. This aspect relates a VP-event-part and its consequent state relative to two inputs, which specify whether (iii) or (iv) holds. One of these inputs is a time that is supplied by the tense and whose value is constrained by temporal adverbials. The other is a state that is supplied by temporal adverbials and whose value may be fixed by the discourse context. An important consequence of the analysis is that the state input supplied by temporal adverbials determines—to a large extent—whether narrative progression is possible. For example, the state input supplied by that same day requires a salient antecedent and narrative progression follows from independent rules of anaphora resolution. Yesterday, however, introduces an unspecified state into the discourse context that is not linked to prior discourse. Finally, now introduces a state that is linked to the discourse context, but the constraints
imposed on this state are only compatible with stative VPs, which do not trigger narrative progression.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Daniel Gordon Altshuler
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.