Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4289
Title: The Temporal Semantics of Noun Phrases: Evidence from Guarani
Authors: Tonhauser, Judith
Keywords: American Indigenous Languages (Southern)
Tupian Languages
Guarani - Grammar
Syntax
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Stanford University
Abstract: This dissertation presents a crosslinguistic study of the temporal semantics of noun phrases. Through an investigation of languages with nominal temporality markers", i.e. markers that attach to noun phrases and affect their temporal interpretation, I propose that the semantic categories grammatical aspect and modality, but not tense , are relevant to the temporal interpretation of noun phrases. I propose a dynamic semantic theory of the temporal interpretation of noun phrases, which sheds light on similarities and differences to the temporal interpretation of verb phrases. Previous discussion of the temporal interpretation of noun phrases (cf. Enc 1981; Musan 1995; Tonhauser 2002) are limited in two ways: they are restricted to data from English and German, and they do not discuss the semantic categories that play a role in the temporal interpretation of noun phrases (besides pointing out that verbal tense does not affect noun phrases). These limitations are remedied in this dissertation by drawing on data from languages with nominal temporality markers. About 20 such languages have been identified, including Guarani (Tupi-Guarani), Halkomelem (Salish) and Movima (isolate in Bolivia). I develop criteria for determining the semantic category of temporal expressions and propose that, crosslinguistically, nominal temporality markers instantiate the semantic categories grammatical aspect, modality and a novel category "existence" that is restricted to noun phrases. I defend this proposal against previous claims according to which the nominal temporality markers are nominal past and future tenses (e.g. Burton 1997; Lecarme 1999; Nordlinger and Sadler 2004). The focus of the dissertation is Guarani, a language with two nominal temporality markers.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4289
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