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Multiple Perfects in Scottish Gaelic
Sylvia L. Reed
389-397 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In this paper, I argue for 'perfect' as a type of aspectual semantics which can have multiple instantiations. I also challenge the claim in Iatridou et al. (2001) that the interval between event time and reference time does not have "a distinguished status" in the perfect. I argue that not only do languages pay attention to this interval, but that some, including Scottish Gaelic (Gaelic), grammaticalize information about it. I provide an analysis of perfect in Gaelic as a second type of grammatical aspect (in the spirit of Smith (1997), Iatridou et al. (2001), and Pancheva & von Stechow (2004)). I consider three aspectual particles in the language: I analyze air as an unrestricted retrospective perfect particle; as dèidh as a restricted retrospective perfect particle; and gu as a restricted prospective perfect particle. The data I present indicate that a complete characterization of the perfect (at least in Gaelic) should include both retrospective and prospective semantics, as well as a consideration of the event time-reference time interval.

Published in

Proceedings of the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Jaehoon Choi, E. Alan Hogue, Jeffrey Punske, Deniz Tat, Jessamyn Schertz, and Alex Trueman
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00