Sentence semantics Classifying meaning at sentence level • Tense • Aspect • Situation type Situation types • Static situations – Adjectives – Stative verbs – Can you distinguish these two in Chinese? • Dynamic situations – Other verbs, mostly Dynamic verbs • Durative or punctual? – John lived a long time ago – John died a long time ago • Telic or atelic? – John baked a cake – John looked hungrily at the cake • Look at Matrix 5.47 – What situation type are the above 4 sentences? Warning! • Saeed’s article is vague about what applies to verbs, and what applies to situations • Vendler and Smith are talking about situations • Be and love are stative verbs • Build and gaze are telic and atelic respectively, but in – I’m building a house – My son is being naughty • …progressive aspect makes the situations atelic and dynamic Tense and aspect • The tense used in a sentence tells us when the event takes place - Johnny ate goulash. - Johnny eats goulash. - Johnny will eat goulash. • Aspect gives extra time information - Johnny has eaten goulash. - Johnny is eating goulash. Tense and aspect • Tense is marked by morphology in English (except cut, put…) – (and then some people say there are zero morphs) • Aspect is not always I’m looking for a burger I see it now I’m eating it I’m lovin’ it (Oh no I think I’m going to be sick!) • All those are “happening right now” Tense: a deictic system • Deixis mean pointing (in Greek) • This and that are deictic pronouns (or determiners); his and her are not. • So, question: what does deictic mean in Linguistics? – Think about who is pointing, and in which direction Aspect is not deictic • It refers to an event’s “temporal distribution or contour” – 5.63: thank you, Hockett (remember him?) – So aspect can describe • Long/short duration • Completeness/ incompleteness • Repeated/ continuous • Tense is just the overall location in time of the event or activity Aspect in English and other languages • Task: How is aspect shown in - English? - Russian? - Chinese? (Look at pages 130-133, and write a couple of sentences about each language. Give a couple of examples from each language) Modality tasks • Page 135 is pretty straightforward: read it again – What is in between You are crazy and You are not crazy? – probably, maybe, might be, must be… • So, an epistemic modal verb – You must be crazy ( I order you to be crazy!) • A deontic modal verb – You must not eat any more Big Macs • How about – I can reach down and touch my toes – Can I have a Big Mac please? Rank them!