English Present Perfect Revisited:

A Unified Semantics as a Tense and a Lower-Level Ambiguity Represented in DRT
  • Yoko Mizuta
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3609)


In this paper, I propose a systematic account of the semantics of English present perfect (PresPerf) from both empirical and formal perspectives. I incorporate the insights of an extended now (XN) analysis ([1]) into the dynamic semantics framework, DRT ([2]). I demonstrate that PresPerf is licensed by its relation to an XN interval and that different readings are attributed to the specific way that the embedded eventuality interacts with an XN. I provide the semantics of PresPerf compositionally in terms of a general component attributed to have + en and specific conditions attributed to adverbials and verb semantics. In addition, I characterize PresPerf as a tense by showing that the XN interval serves as ”temporal location” ([3]), a determinant of tense. An alleged connection between PresPerf and a perfect state is only entailed in the case of events.


Left Boundary Experiential Reading General Component Temporal Perspective Speech Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoko Mizuta
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Informatics, Research Information Research Division, 2-1-2 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8430Japan

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