Aspect, Negation and Quantifiers

  • Aniko Csirmaz
Part of the Studies In Natural Language And Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 68)

This chapter considers the effect of negation on aspect. It is shown that negation licenses the subinterval property for all types of event descriptions, independently of their lexical or derived aspectual properties. Negation is not an aspectual operator; the subinterval property does not arise from the event description being converted into an atelic event description or state. Rather, I argue that negation results in a predicate which takes the original event description and a interval, the reference time as arguments. The resulting complex predicate has the subinterval property, which can be modified by a for-adverbial or a Hungarian equivalent -á t or -ig adverb. A for-adverbial can thus modify not only the event description and the event time, but also a higher predicate and time interval. In addition, I show that apart from negation, other downward entailing elements also license the subinterval property. The behavior of structurally case-marked equivalents of for-adverbs is also addressed.


Event Time Reference Time Event Description Utterance Time Imperfective Aspect 
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© Springer 2008

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  • Aniko Csirmaz

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