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The Compositional Nature of Tense, Mood and Aspect: Volume 167, Paperback / softback Book

The Compositional Nature of Tense, Mood and Aspect: Volume 167 Paperback / softback

Part of the Cambridge Studies in Linguistics series

Paperback / softback


Bringing together fifty years' worth of cross-linguistic research, this pioneering monograph explores the complex interaction between tense, mood and aspect.

It looks at the long way of combining elementary semantic units at the bottom of phrase structure up to and including the top of a sentence.

Rejecting ternary tense as blocking compositionality, it introduces three levels obtained by binary tense oppositions.  It also counters an outdated view on motion by assuming that change is not expressed as having an inherent goal but rather as dynamic interaction between different number systems that allows us to package information into countable and continuous units.

It formally identifies the central role of a verb in a variety of argument structures and integrates adverbial modifiers into the compositional structure at different tense levels of phrase structure.

This unique contribution to the field will be essential reading for advanced students and researchers in the syntax-semantics interface.


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