The Semantics of Grammatical Aspect: Evidence from Scottish Gaelic

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/223347
Title:
The Semantics of Grammatical Aspect: Evidence from Scottish Gaelic
Author:
Reed, Sylvia L.
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation presents a theory of grammatical aspect in which perfects and prospectives form a sub-group separate from perfectives and imperfectives. I claim that aspects in this sub-group display a number of similar semantic and syntactic behaviors because of the way in which they relate event and reference times. While perfectives and imperfectives situate these times in inclusion relations, perfects and prospectives separate event time from reference time. This effectively creates an interval, homogeneous with respect to the eventuality, that can be interpreted as a state. The separation of the times in these aspects also means that modification of the interval between these times is possible, as is modification by adverbials like since that cannot occur with other aspects. These claims are supported by the morphosyntax and semantics of aspect particles in Scottish Gaelic, with additional data from English. I investigate six particles in Scottish Gaelic, focusing on four I claim to mark various aspects and one I claim to be simply a preposition. I argue that in addition to two inclusion aspects, perfective and imperfective (expressed via a synthetic form and by a' , respectively), Scottish Gaelic shows four distinctions of precedence aspect - two retrospective (air , as dèidh) and two prospective (gu , a' dol do). I provide a neo-Reichenbachian analysis of these particles within event semantics. In each case, the particle is an instantiation of an Aspect head that existentially quantifies over an event and places its runtime in a relation to reference time. I also argue that the particle ann, which seems to appear with both verbal and nominal material, is not an aspect particle but a preposition. Its appearance in the same linear position as the aspect particles belies its distinct syntactic structure. Overall, the data indicate the benefit of a view of grammatical aspect in which the basic time relations of reference time within, before, and after event time delineate groups of aspects rather than individual distinctions. This view of aspect is a more cohesive alternative to one in which aspects that may actually be very similar are taken to exist in separate categories.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
nominal predication; perfect; prospective; Scottish Gaelic; Linguistics; grammatical aspect; imperfective
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Linguistics
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Carnie, Andrew; Harley, Heidi

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleThe Semantics of Grammatical Aspect: Evidence from Scottish Gaelicen_US
dc.creatorReed, Sylvia L.en_US
dc.contributor.authorReed, Sylvia L.en_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation presents a theory of grammatical aspect in which perfects and prospectives form a sub-group separate from perfectives and imperfectives. I claim that aspects in this sub-group display a number of similar semantic and syntactic behaviors because of the way in which they relate event and reference times. While perfectives and imperfectives situate these times in inclusion relations, perfects and prospectives separate event time from reference time. This effectively creates an interval, homogeneous with respect to the eventuality, that can be interpreted as a state. The separation of the times in these aspects also means that modification of the interval between these times is possible, as is modification by adverbials like since that cannot occur with other aspects. These claims are supported by the morphosyntax and semantics of aspect particles in Scottish Gaelic, with additional data from English. I investigate six particles in Scottish Gaelic, focusing on four I claim to mark various aspects and one I claim to be simply a preposition. I argue that in addition to two inclusion aspects, perfective and imperfective (expressed via a synthetic form and by a' , respectively), Scottish Gaelic shows four distinctions of precedence aspect - two retrospective (air , as dèidh) and two prospective (gu , a' dol do). I provide a neo-Reichenbachian analysis of these particles within event semantics. In each case, the particle is an instantiation of an Aspect head that existentially quantifies over an event and places its runtime in a relation to reference time. I also argue that the particle ann, which seems to appear with both verbal and nominal material, is not an aspect particle but a preposition. Its appearance in the same linear position as the aspect particles belies its distinct syntactic structure. Overall, the data indicate the benefit of a view of grammatical aspect in which the basic time relations of reference time within, before, and after event time delineate groups of aspects rather than individual distinctions. This view of aspect is a more cohesive alternative to one in which aspects that may actually be very similar are taken to exist in separate categories.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectnominal predicationen_US
dc.subjectperfecten_US
dc.subjectprospectiveen_US
dc.subjectScottish Gaelicen_US
dc.subjectLinguisticsen_US
dc.subjectgrammatical aspecten_US
dc.subjectimperfectiveen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLinguisticsen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorCarnie, Andrewen_US
dc.contributor.advisorHarley, Heidien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCopley, Bridgeten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBarss, Andrewen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCarnie, Andrewen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHarley, Heidien_US
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