Tense, Attitudes, and Scope

Tense, Attitudes, and Scope

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Tense, Attitudes, and Scope is a model-theoretic inquiry into the semantics of tense in natural language. The book presents the view that the semantic contribution of tense is made in relation to structurally higher expressions (the `relative tense theory') and argues against the view that tenses are all indexicals. This idea is formally encoded as a de se analysis of attitudes, originally proposed by Lewis, coupled with a sequence-of-tense rule posited for English. An auxiliary proposal is made to account for some exceptional cases (e.g. so-called double-access sentences), which invokes de re attitudes about temporal entities (states or intervals). Since the proposed account assumes that the interpretation of tense is structure-dependent, it also correctly predicts scope interactions between tenses and NPs.
Tense, Attitudes, and Scope is intended for scholars and graduate students in formal semantics, syntax-semantics interface, philosophy of language and Japanese linguistics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 282 pages
  • 156 x 233.9 x 19.1mm | 598.75g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1996 ed.
  • XIV, 282 p.
  • 0792338014
  • 9780792338017

Table of contents

List of abbreviations. Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. Tense and temporal adverbials in simple sentences. 3. Previous analyses of tenses in embedded clauses. 4. Sequence-of-tense phenomena in complement clauses. 5. Sequence-of-tense phenomena in adjunct clauses. 6. Tense and de re attitudes. Appendix: The syntax and semantics of tenses in English and Japanese. References. Index.
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