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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

While most approaches to the semantics of tense have attempted to regiment tense away in a tenseless metalanguage, a good case can be made that this is not without cost (the same case could be made for regimentation of modality and other aspects of natural language as well). On the other hand, it is pretty clear that attempts to treat tense in a tensed metalanguage introduce serious complications. It is probably not so important which of these positions is correct at this point (we may be some distance from resolving that question), as it is that we understand the costs of the respective positions. Perhaps, by having a firm enough grasp on both approaches we afford ourselves a deeper insight into the nature of tense itself.

Keywords: semantics of tense, metalanguage, natural language, regimentation of modality, detensers

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