Temporal Dynamic Semantics of Factual Counterfactuals

  • Sumiyo Nishiguchi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3609)


This paper discusses the fake past tense morphology used for present state in Japanese (Teramura 1984; Iatridou 2000). Unlike Korean and other languages, the past tense marker “ta” can express an unexpected finding or remembrance at the time of speech (Inoue and Ubukoshi 1997). I claim that this construction corresponds to subjunctive conditionals with a covert negative antecedent, and that counterfactuality is involved in such non-past past tense, even though the proposition expressed is factual. It is comparable to the counterfactual analysis of factive emotive predicates such as “sorry”and “glad”(Heim 1992; Giorgi and Pianesi 1997). I show that non-past past construction updates the information state, and revises the context.


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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sumiyo Nishiguchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Osaka University Graduate School of Letters Department of English Linguistics, 1-5 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka 560-0043, Japan, UCLA Department of Linguistics, 3125 Campbell Hall, Box 951543, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543 

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