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date: 04 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is about the treatment of tense and aspect in Discourse Representation Theory. The focus is on the role that different tense forms and other sentence constituents with temporal and/or aspectual meaning components have on the interpretation of sentence sequences: how the occurrence of such a constituent in a sentence links its interpretation temporally or aspectually to that of the sentence of sentences preceding it. The concern on the discourse linking role of tenses and other sentence constituents led to DRT in the first place, with its architecture that is geared to deal with the systematic properties of incremental discourse interpretation. Novel about the chapter is its discussion of the distinction between temporal cross-sentential discourse links that are fully determined by the choice of tense forms alone and those which also rely on world knowledge and discourse relations. DRT work on sentence- and word-internal structure is not discussed.

Keywords: discourse context, temporal anaphora, past perfect, extended flash back, Internal/External Viewpoint, Reference time, Temporal Perspective point, model-theoretic semantics, ontological commitments

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