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Binary Tense cover

Binary Tense

Henk J. Verkuyl

Despite shortcomings in Reichenbach's model of tense, it has been the standard introduction for most linguists working on English, German, and Dutch since 1947. Binary Tense surpasses that model by reviving ideas that preceded it by almost a century. Instead of the 3×3 matrix used in the standard model, Henk J. Verkuyl presents a 2×2×2 approach that can be applied to a wider variety of languages, including Chinese, Georgian, and Spanish. This binary approach sheds light on the difference between imperfect and imperfective, the matching of tenses in complex sentences, and many other aspects of linguistics.

Henk J. Verkuyl is professor emeritus of linguistics at Utrecht University.

Contents

  • Preface
  • 1 Ternary vs. Binary Tense
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Reichenbach's quadratic system: 3×3
      • 2.1 Building a matrix
      • 2.2 Problems with Reichenbach's system
    • 3 Te Winkel's cubic system: 2×2×2
      • 3.1 Building a cube
      • 3.2 Te Winkel vs. Reichenbach
    • 4 Perfect: tense or aspect?
    • 5 Conclusion

  • 2 Making the Binary System Compositional
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Present vs. Past
    • 3 Synchronus vs. Posterior
    • 4 Completed vs. Incompleted
    • 5 Posterity and anteriority
    • 6 The role of auxiliaries as carriers of tense
    • 7 Improving on Prior
    • 8 Conclusion

  • 3 Exploring a Binary System with Three Oppositions
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Extending the system: two sorts of present
    • 3 Current relevance
    • 4 Current relevance
      • 4.1 Present posterity
      • 4.2 Past posterity
      • 4.3 Tense and negation
    • 5 The present as a union
    • 6 Presebt Perfect and the Extended Now
    • 7 Present tense in Dutch and in English
    • 8 The Present-Past opposition and habituality
    • 8 Conclusion

  • 4 Adverbial Modification and Tense Opposition
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Temporal adverbials and modification of tense
      • 2.1 Measuring adverbials: For an hour vs. In an hour
      • 2.2 Locating Adverbials: Setting and realtional
      • 2.3 Durational and Locating adverbials
      • 2.4 Conclusion
    • 3 Two types of ambiguity
      • 3.1 Perfect ambiguity
      • 3.2 Supratemporal ambiguity
    • 4 Conclusion

  • 5 Complex Tense Structures
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 The superfluidity of the Now-operator
    • 3 On the temporal semantics of complement clauses
      • 3.1 That-complements
      • 3.2 Infinitival Complements
      • 3.3 Temporal semantics and propositional attitudes
    • 4 i-discrepency and i-matching
      • 4.1 i-discrepancy: i0i1
      • 4.2 i-matching: i0 = i1
    • 5 Conclusion

  • 6 Binary Tense in Languages with a Poor Tense System
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Chinese
      • 2.1 The default aspect strategy
      • 2.2 Applying the binary system to Chinese
      • 2.3 Another look at the aspectual markers guo and le
      • 2.4 Conclusion
    • 3 Russian
      • 3.1 Russian tense
      • 3.2 Reinhart's system applied to English tense
      • 3.3 Reinhart/Borik's system applied to English tense
      • 3.4 The binary approach to Russian tense
      • 3.5 Conclusion
    • 4 Concluding remarks

  • 7 Binary Tense in Languages with a Rich Tense System
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 French
      • 2.1 The proposals by Imbs and Martin
      • 2.2 Vet's subsystem for the written language
      • 2.3 Vet's system for the spoken language
      • 2.4 Making the French tense systems binary
      • 2.5 On the semantics of the three binary tense oppositions in French
      • 2.6 The Passé Simple and the Passé Antérieur
      • 2.7 Going South
      • 2.8 Conclusion
    • 3 Bulgarian
      • 3.1 On the symmetry in the Bulgarian tense system
      • 3.2 Lindstedt's attempt to make Reichenbach/Comrie binary
      • 3.3 Crossing Tense and Aspect in Bulgarian
      • 3.4 The Aorist in Bulgarian
      • 3.5 Conclusion
    • 4 Georgian
      • 4.1 Georgian tense
      • 4.2 Making the Georgian tense system binary
      • 4.3 The Aorist
      • 4.4 Conclusion
    • 5 Concluding remarks

  • Synopsis
  • References
  • Index

October 2008

ISBN (Paperback): 1575865645 (9781575865645)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575865637 (9781575865638)
ISBN (Electronic): 1575869896 (9781575869896)

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