Temporal remoteness and vagueness in past time reference in Luganda

2018
Klecha, Peter
Publication type
Contribution to a conference collection
Published
Published in
African linguistics on the prairie : Selected papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics / Kandybowicz, Jason et al. (ed.). - Berlin : Language Science Press, 2018. - (Contemporary African Linguistics ; 3). - pp. 377-391. - ISBN 978-3-96110-037-8
Abstract
In this paper, we point out that past time operators (PTOs) in Luganda, a language that makes three past time remoteness distinctions, are vague and context-dependent, and pro- vide an analysis whereby PTOs contain context-sensitive measure functions akin to gradable adjectives. We call the relevant PTOs RECENT, INTERMEDIATE, and DISTANT, respectively. Luganda PTOs give rise to borderline cases, where it is difficult to decide whether a past reference time (RT) counts as ‘recent’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘distant’. What counts as ‘recent’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘distant’ is context dependent; e.g., there are contexts where REC is acceptable with an RT of a few weeks ago, and contexts where DIST is acceptable for an RT of a few minutes ago. We assume that like tenses in English, PTOs in matrix clauses in Luganda restrict the relation between utterance time (UT) and RT. However, while English past tense presupposes that RT precedes UT (e.g. Kratzer 1998), Luganda PTOs additionally encode as part of their meaning a vague, context-dependent measure function that compares the length of a time interval to a contextual standard.
Subject (DDC)
400 Philology, Linguistics
Conference
45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics : ACAL 45, Apr 17, 2014 - Apr 19, 2014, Lawrence, KS
Cite This
ISO 690BOCHNAK, M. Ryan, Peter KLECHA, 2018. Temporal remoteness and vagueness in past time reference in Luganda. 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics : ACAL 45. Lawrence, KS, Apr 17, 2014 - Apr 19, 2014. In: KANDYBOWICZ, Jason, ed. and others. African linguistics on the prairie : Selected papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Berlin:Language Science Press, pp. 377-391. ISBN 978-3-96110-037-8. Available under: doi: 10.5281/zenodo.1251751
BibTex
@inproceedings{Bochnak2018Tempo-59422,
year={2018},
doi={10.5281/zenodo.1251751},
title={Temporal remoteness and vagueness in past time reference in Luganda},
number={3},
isbn={978-3-96110-037-8},
publisher={Language Science Press},
series={Contemporary African Linguistics},
booktitle={African linguistics on the prairie : Selected papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics},
pages={377--391},
editor={Kandybowicz, Jason},
author={Bochnak, M. Ryan and Klecha, Peter}
}

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