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Chapter 7 Kearns: Reading guide

Make sure you know what the following concepts mean and how to use them appropriately:

  • tense
  • aspect
  • event vs. state (using the information in chapter 9 if needed)
  • finiteness
  • result state
Make sure you understand:
  • that syntactic or morphological tense does not always correspond to semantic tense; 
  • the different interpretations of tenses, for instance:
    • that the present tense is interpreted as present with states, habitual with events;
  • the different interpretations of aspects, for instance:
    • that the present progressive has a temporal frame reading with events (example (25)), but for states the temporal frame reading is the present (example (26));
    • that the present progressive is either unacceptable with states, or suggests temporariness (examples in (27) vs. (28));
    • also check the interpretations of the perfect, and their interaction with eventuality type (event vs. state) and time adverbials.
Make sure you know how to:
    • formalize simple tenses with the operators Pres, Past, Fut (see example (21));
    • give the truth conditions of sentences with simple tenses (see example (24));
    • give a Reichenbachean analysis of the English verb group.
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