Whamit!

The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

ESSL 5/15 - Benjamin Storme

Speaker: Benjamin Storme
Title: Present perfective and explicit performatives
Date/Time: Thursday, May 15, 5:30-7p
Location: 32-D831

In this talk, I will propose to extend Lauer (2013)’s analysis of explicit performatives with temporal and aspectual operators from Kratzer (1998) in order to account for the contrast in (1). The performative effect will only arise in LFs with present tense and perfective aspect.

(1) a. I promise that p. (good as a promise)
b. #I am promising that p. (bad as a promise)

I will also propose a revision of the classic analysis of the contrast in (2): the badness of (2a) will no longer be derived by postulating a semantic incompatibility between perfective aspect and present tense (present perfective LFs are needed to derive the contrast in (1)), but by a pragmatic constraint making present perfective LFs unlikely.

(2) a. #John does his homework. (bad to refer to an event happening at the moment of utterance)
b. John is doing his homework. (good to refer to an event happening at the moment of utterance)

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