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Grammaticalizing the Size of Situations: The Case of Bulgarian
María Luisa Rivero, Ana Arregui, and Nikolay Slavkov
329-338 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper supports the view that constraints on syntax and morphology can target 'situation size' in semantics, arguing for the necessity of constraints on 'big' situations, and for their grammaticalization. Based on Bulgarian, the paper proposes that some complex aspectual interactions involving Perfective Imperfect verbs encoded in syntax and morphology trigger habitual interpretations, and result in propositions that can only be true in 'big' situations, informally described as 'non-accidental generalizations on repeated actions that are complete.' The proposal is based on the morphological contrast between Perfective Imperfects and Perfective Aorists, and accounts for restrictions on the modal interpretations of imperfective aspect, providing a grammaticalized basis for the distinction between ongoing and habitual readings.

Published in

Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Kyeong-min Kim, Pocholo Umbal, Trevor Block, Queenie Chan, Tanie Cheng, Kelli Finney, Mara Katz, Sophie Nickel-Thompson, and Lisa Shorten
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00