Before strikes back:An ABA constraint on temporal expressions

Franco, Ludovico (2013) Before strikes back:An ABA constraint on temporal expressions. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 60 (3). pp. 265-301. ISSN 1216-8076


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In this paper, I will present a cross-linguistic analysis of the syntax of items signalling temporal distance. Based on insight from cartography and nanosyntax, I will argue that the mechanism of Phrasal Spell-out (and the Superset Principle) can elegantly explain why in many language ‘before’ and ‘ago’ meanings are expressed with the same word. I will present a previously unnoticed *ABA constraint (cf. Caha 2009; Bobaljik 2012) on lexical spans in the domain of temporal distance. The *ABA pattern will be crucial to account for possible counterexamples of Haspelmath’s (1997) fairly robust descriptive generalization,which states that forms expressing spatial relations of ‘front’ and ‘back’ regularly express anteriority and posteriority respectively, across languages when they are “shifted” from space to time (namely, before ≈ in front; after ≈ back).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > P0 Philology. Linguistics / filológia, nyelvészet
Depositing User: xBarbara xBodnár
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 10:18
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2018 23:15

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