Date of Degree

6-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Linguistics

Advisor

Sam Al Khatib

Subject Categories

Linguistics | Semantics and Pragmatics

Keywords

tense, double access reading, sequence of tense, de re attitudes, upper limit constraint

Abstract

In this thesis I will argue that the double access reading in English is not limited to the present-under-past construction but is instead available in the present-under-future construction as well. Unlike the traditional present-under-past construction, however, the double access reading is not the only available reading in the present-under-future construction. I will present data that shows that any context which licenses the double access reading also necessarily licenses a simultaneous reading as a result of a Sequence of Tense rule. Additional data will show that, when interpreted de re, the embedded present tense in the present-under-future construction is constrained by the local evaluation time such that it cannot be interpreted as strictly preceding the local evaluation time. I will therefore propose an expansion of the pronominal account by introducing a Lower Limit Constraint to account for this data. As suggested by Stowell (2014), additional data will provide strong evidence for a pronominal account of tense that includes an indefinite past. Both of these additions to the pronominal account will result in an improved account for both the semantics of tense and for the double access reading in English.

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