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Sobre a Semântica e a Pragmática dos Tempos no Presente

Authors
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Revista Letras
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Disciplines
  • Linguistics

Abstract

Letras69.pmd REVISTA LETRAS, CURITIBA, N. 69, P. 173-190, MAIO/AGO. 2006. EDITORA UFPR. 173 ON THE SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICS OF PRESENT TENSES* Sobre a Semântica e a Pragmática dos Tempos no Presente Cláudio C. C. Gonçalves** INTRODUCTION The semantics of tense and aspect has enjoyed ever growing atten- tion since the 1970’s. Nevertheless, a principled, comprehensive account of the interpretation of the present tense of European languages, such as the examples given in (1) is still presents challenges. (1) a. O João nada. (Portuguese) b. Juan nada. (Spanish) c. Jean nage. (French) d. Gianni nuota. (Italian) e. Johan schwimmt (German) f. John swims. (English) * For helpful comments and discussions on these deviant ideas I would like to thank the Werner Abraham, Karina Molsing, Roberta Pires de Oliveira, Luiz Arthur Pagani, Paul Pietroski, Luisândro Mendes Souza. None of which are to be held liable for any of which follows. Also the public at the the 2005 WLT USP, at the 2005 GEL where I presented part of this material and the Revista Letras referees. * * Doutorando, UFSC. GONÇALVES, C. C. C. ON THE SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICS OF PRESENT TENSES 174 REVISTA LETRAS, CURITIBA, N. 69, P. 173-190, MAIO/AGO. 2006. EDITORA UFPR. Ignoring for the while effects that arise if we change swim in (1) for verbs of different Aktionsarten, present simple verbs alternate at least these values in the languages listed in (1): · They are interpretable as sentences describing habits.1 Or, in the case where the subject is a bare noun as in fish swim, a generic. In languages as German and French the simple present form can also be interpreted as a progressive, whereby (1 c) or (1 e) may be interpreted as reporting a fact which is going on concomitant to the utterance of the sentence. The conditions for the availabi- lity of that reading are not the same in the two languages, but for now what matters is acknowledging the possibility. · A futurate reading is available for simple p

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