, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 273–297 | Cite as

A default-free solution to the imperfective paradox

  • Mathieu VidalEmail author
  • Denis Perrin


This article advances the first semantics that is neither for nor against a default implicational link between the progressive and perfective forms, when it comes to solving the imperfective paradox. Depending on the doxastic context of its use, we contend that the progressive form sometimes allows and sometimes does not allow the inference of the corresponding simple form. In other words, the preparatory phase of an event might or might not be believed to lead to its culmination. Indeed, the context can put constraints on beliefs about the time of the culmination and whether or not it allows this inference to be made. From a formal perspective, this new solution to the imperfective paradox combines a specific modal approach with an event-structure analysis originating in event semantics. Finally, this approach solves the associated difficulties (e.g., pauses, past futures, interruptions and sensibility to description) that have plagued the most well-known theories in this field.


Imperfective paradox Progressive Beliefs 



We would like to thank three anonymous referees for their valuable comments that greatly helped to improve the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CHArtParis 8 UniversityParisFrance
  2. 2.PPLUniv. Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance

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