This paper investigates the aspectual 'still' and 'just' readings contributed by the morpheme k'ay in Gitksan (Tsimshianic) and demonstrates that the choice between the two readings is predictable from the aspectual properties of the sentence. The 'still' reading of k'ay is observed in combination with the progressive marker yukw as well as bare stative predicates. On the other hand, the 'just' reading arises in combination with bare achievement predicates. The two readings share a presupposition that the relevant eventuality obtains at some time prior to the reference time (RT), which is also observed in the aspectual uses of the English still and its German counterpart noch (e.g., Greenberg 2008; Michaelis 1993; Mittwoch 1993). A formal semantic analysis is proposed that unifies the two readings into a single lexical entry. The compatibility of a given predicate with k'ay and the resulting reading depend on the subinterval (Bach 1981; Dowty 1986) and the 'superinterval' (Dowty 1986; Gennari 2003; Greenberg 2008; Altshuler and Schwarzchild 2013) properties of states and progressives as well as the telicity of achievements in the language.
Proceedings of the 37th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by D. K. E. Reisinger and Marianne Huijsmans Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-477-5 hardback
v + 225 pages
publication date: 2021
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA