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The Co-pretérito as Null Tense: Tense Anchoring and Sequence of Tense Revisited
Joshua Rodríguez
237-250 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This proposal attempts to draw together insights from both formal semantic and generative syntactic traditions regarding the phenomenon of sequence of tense (SOT) or tense agreement. Temporal heads, such as T, Asp, and at times V, are treated as ternary relations involving two temporal arguments and a proposition. Their temporal arguments are represented syntactically as temporal indices. Both inter-clausal temporal dependencies and the agreement of tense morphology are dealt with via mechanisms that hearken back to traditional notions of government and binding. These mechanisms, which rely on representational configurations at LF (i.e., the results of derivation rather than derivational considerations themselves), allow sufficient flexibility to account for intricate tense interactions that result from quantifier and intensional scope considerations with no additional stipulations. The interpretation of the Spanish co-pretérito (or simultaneous past) is shown to be part of a greater phenomenon of inter-clausal (non-)simultaneity, which is accounted for without additional stipulation once pragmatic considerations are computed.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 10th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Joyce Bruhn de Garavito and Elena Valenzuela
Table of contents
Printed edition: $250.00