Expert meeting 3

16 March 2018, Utrecht


Drift 23, room 0.13


Time Event/Speaker
9.30 - 10.15 Olaf Hoenselaar, Helen de Hoop, Gijs Mulder, Gert-Jan Schoenmakers (Radboud University Nijmegen)
10.30 - 11.00 Martijn van der Klis (Utrecht University)
11.00 - 12.00 Discussion

Speaker info (bio, abstract, slides)

Olaf Hoenselaar, Helen de Hoop, Gijs Mulder, Gert-Jan Schoenmakers (Radboud University Nijmegen)

On the competititon between simple past and present perfect in Spanish and French


Both Spanish and French have two past tense forms (imperfective and simple past) as well as a present perfect. Whereas the French simple past only has one possible interpretation (ER-S) and the present perfect two (E-RS and ER-S), in Spanish it is the other way around (Schaden 2009, de Swart 2007, 2016). Schaden (2009) claims that this difference cannot be analyzed in terms of markedness or optimality, because the present perfect is morpho-syntactically more marked than the simple past in both languages. We argue that the variation can in fact be analyzed in bidirectional Optimality Theory, once markedness features of tense and aspect are distinguished. Supportive evidence comes from Javier Marías' novel 'Así empieza lo malo' (2014) and its French translation.

Martijn van der Klis (Utrecht University)

Towards a cross-linguistic, compositional semantics of the recent past


Cross-linguistically, the perfect of recent past (e.g. “Mary has just left the party”) forms an interesting category. In some Romance languages, this PERFECT can be expressed with a grammaticalized construction (in French venir de + infinitive and in Spanish acabar de + infinitive) that is used to express immediate anteriority (Bres & Labeau, 2015). In contrast, in Germanic languages, a present perfect requires adverbs (like just in English (Lee, 1991) and gerade in German (Schaden & Tovena, 2009)) to signal this kind of recency. We propose a foreground-background DRT implementation to arrive at a semantics of the perfect of recent past compositionally, using the idea of Schaden and Tovena that the adverb in this construction is a focus particle.