Linguistic assumptions, long (Rolf, also Dave)
furuli at online.no
Wed Jul 5 09:45:47 EDT 2000
I think it is better that you come up with an example of your own. My
example was used to show that strange cases are possible. Counter-examples
should not be special cases, and as long as we do not have the context, (as
I at present don't) we cannot be certain as to the relationship between RT
and ET in that particular case. The most natural interpretation of the
clause, without having seen the context, is that "he" moved the cuopboard
along the floor and opened it in the middle of the crossing event. But this
was evidently not the meaning of the author. But why not, I do not know.
University of Oslo
>Would the sentence you quoted a few days ago,
>"Crossing the floor, he opened the cupboard"
>be a counter-example to the situation you describe? This has a verb form
>"crossing" which usually represents the imperfective aspect, but it seems to
>me that in this case "reference time intersects event time at the coda". If
>so, Broman Olsen's theory is falsified for English as it is really spoken
>and written, and applies only to the idealised and sanitised English which
>Dave Washburn does not call "bad". That would hardly be a surprise. Real
>language, as opposed to artificial constructs, just does not fit nicely with
>absolute categories like "non-cancellable", it has a strong tendency to
>squeeze its way past such theoretical constraints.
>> Dear Clay,
>> I am not sure who the people you mention are and what is the sense of
>> "'core' of semantic-functional significance". But regarding aspect, the
>> situation i simple as far as English is concerned. The characteristic of
>> the imperfective aspect (not only its 'core'), represented by present
>> participle, is that reference time intersects event time at the nucleus
>> (before the end). The characteritic of the perfective aspect, represented
>> by the perfect, is that reference time intersects event time at the coda.
>> This is a non-cancelable relationship because it is always like that.
>> Therefore Broman Olsen uses the term "semantic meaning".
>> The definition is very clear, and it can be falsified by finding examples
>> where the relationship between ET and RT is different from the definition.
>> We cannot presume that the situation in Hebrew is similar to English, but
>> because the definition is so clearcut, I cannot think of a better model by
>> which to test Hebrew aspect.
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