AdvisorLangendoen, D. Terence
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTo systematically express the concepts of aspectual primitives such as "boundedness", "dynamicity", "punctuality", this dissertation presents a theory of aspect in the approach of quantificational predicate logic. The theory (called "Quantificational Representation of Aspect", or QRA) is originated from temporal predicate logic, with the aid of the Reichenbach temporal theory (1947). First of all, an analogy is drawn between the boundaries (viz. the telicity property) of a situation and quantification over temporal variables. Among the temporal variables, t and i together specify two boundaries of a situation, while r (reference time) and s (speech time) provide further temporal information necessary for aspectual interpretations. The theory thus presents a predicate fitted out with four temporal arguments--- s, r, t, i, in addition to its syntactic argument(s). Meanwhile, the (logical) relations among these arguments render the precise interpretation of each aspectual category. For example, John kissed Mary, a perfective sentence with an activity verb, is expressed under QRA as "∃s∃r∃t∀iKISS(s, r, t, i, john, mary), r = t + i ∧ r ≤ s". QRA offers a stronger expressive power than the traditional aspectual theories based on definitions or typology (e.g. Comrie 1976 and Bybee et al. 1994). Additionally, this theory has the advantage of explicating certain temporal characteristics of aspects, for instance, quantification over intervals (i.e. successive moments) that temporal predicate logic (relating two moments in time) is unable to achieve.
Degree ProgramGraduate College