A templatic treatment of temporal terms [with Aniko Csirmaz]

Abstract

We examine the internal structure of a subclass of adverbials including several temporal adverbs, in Hungarian, Hindi, and Nepali, with comparison to German and different stages of English. Connections between adverbials like again and still in Hindi, Nepali, and Hungarian suggest an underlying generalised relational adverbial, for which we present a templatic formalisation. This follows in the tradition of research which seeks to unite the different meanings of English still (e.g. Michaelis 1993, Beck 2016); we extend this to include again and then. The interaction of ordering adverbials and additive particles, exemplified by the ‘concessive’ still forms Hindi phir bhī, Nepali pheri pani, Hungarian mégis, point to further functions of additives beyond what has been previously discussed. Positing an underlying basic template captures the morphological and semantic interrelations between ordering adverbials in languages like Hindi/Nepali and Hungarian. The morphological similarity, which links different adverbials in different languages, is taken to reflect a single underlying meaning. This view of temporal adverbials is reminiscent of Kayne’s (2016) suggestion for functional items: if two functional items are homophones, they cannot have the same spelling.

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Location
Aspen Grove, Provo, Utah
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