Februari 15, 16-17:30, Erasmusbuilding 14.01

Henk Verkuyl, Utrecht

Tense and Perspective. Organizing levels into configurations.

Abstract: On several occasions I have been arguing against the 3x3-choice made by Reichenbach and against the attempts to improve on Reichenbach maintaining its basic matrix. Instead I have argued in favour of a 2x2x2-approach because it not only provides correctly the number of tenses in English and Dutch but it also applies well to languages having more or less than eight tenses. I will show that this originally 19th century system is superior because it yields useful indices making up the appropriate configurations introducing two sorts of ‘presents’ interacting in the present perfect tense. It will be argued that the abut-relation is an artefact of DRT, due to unsolved problems with the 3x3 matrix.