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Mood, Aspect, Modality RevisitedNew Answers to Old Questions$
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Joanna Blaszczak, Anastasia Giannakidou, Dorota Klimek-Jankowska, and Krzysztof Migdalski

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226363523

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226363660.001.0001

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Aspectual Composition and Recursion

Aspectual Composition and Recursion

(p.314) Chapter Nine Aspectual Composition and Recursion
Mood, Aspect, Modality Revisited

Henriëtte de Swart

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents a model of aspectual interpretation, in which grammatical aspect is a modifier, mapping sets of eventualities onto sets of eventualities. This treatment makes it possible to develop an analysis of sentences containing multiple aspectual markers in terms of recursion. This chapter analyzes aspectual recursion in Mandarin Chinese, in which there are two types of aspectual le markers (verbal le and sentential le), which can be used together in one sentence, producing meaning and discourse effects. Verbal le immediately follows the verb and it is treated as a perfective marker, which describes an event as completed, while sentence-final le is located in sentence final position and is taken to mark realization of an event that brings about a result state. There are contexts in which these two kinds of le co-occur. De Swart develops the semantics of the double le structures which represent the event as culminated, and adds a result state with current relevance. The main difference between a telic sentence with double le vs. one with just a sentence-final le is that in the former case it is not the whole event but only its culmination that gets interpreted as having current relevance.

Keywords:   aspectual interpretation, grammatical aspect, Mandarin Chinese, semantics

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