Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 459–510 | Cite as

The (Temporal) Semantics and (Modal) Pragmatics of the Perfect

  • Paul Portner


The English perfect involves two fundamental components of meaning: a truth-conditional one involving temporal notions and a current relevance presupposition best expressed in terms drawn from the analysis of modality. The proposal made here draws much for the Extended Now theory (McCoard 1978 and others), but improves on it by showing that many aspects of the perfect's meaning may be factored out into independent semantic or pragmatic principles.


Artificial Intelligence Computational Linguistic Fundamental Component Pragmatic Principle Current Relevance 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Portner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsGeorgetown UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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