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1 Time as Acceptability of Events Kasia Jaszczolt University of Cambridge Chronos 7, Antwerp, 18-20 September 2006

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Presentation on theme: "1 Time as Acceptability of Events Kasia Jaszczolt University of Cambridge Chronos 7, Antwerp, 18-20 September 2006"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Time as Acceptability of Events Kasia Jaszczolt University of Cambridge Chronos 7, Antwerp, September 2006

2 2 Summary Time as epistemic modality: a brief overview and summarized arguments Time as epistemic modality: a brief overview and summarized arguments Modality as degrees of acceptability of the conveyed proposition Modality as degrees of acceptability of the conveyed proposition Grice’s Acc operator Grice’s Acc operator Event for Default Semantics: ACC e Event for Default Semantics: ACC e Default Semantics: an introduction Default Semantics: an introduction A Default-Semantics analysis of temporality as modality A Default-Semantics analysis of temporality as modality

3 3 Part I: Time as Modality

4 4 A series and B series ‘…I shall speak of the series of positions running from the far past through the near past to the present, and then from the present to the near future and the far future, as the A series. The series of positions which runs from earlier to later I shall call the B series.’ McTaggart (1908: 111).

5 5 ‘Why do we believe that events are to be distinguished as past, present, and future? I conceive that the belief arises from distinctions in our own experience. At any moment I have certain perceptions, I have also the memory of certain other perceptions, and the anticipation of others again. The direct perception itself is a mental state qualitatively different from the memory or the anticipation of perceptions.’ McTaggart (1908: 127)

6 6 A-series: tensed tensed time belongs to events time belongs to events there is real change there is real change A. Prior, P. Ludlow, J. Parsons, Q. Smith A. Prior, P. Ludlow, J. Parsons, Q. Smith

7 7 B-series: untensed untensed earlier-than/later-than relations earlier-than/later-than relations time is psychological and belongs to the observer time is psychological and belongs to the observer there is no change there is no change B. Russell, H. Reichenbach, A. Einstein, D. H. Mellor, T. Sattig? B. Russell, H. Reichenbach, A. Einstein, D. H. Mellor, T. Sattig? Mellor: experience of time as accumulation of memories

8 A-series

9 B-series

10 10 Representing time in semantics: An assumption The categories of tense, aspect, and whole propositions are founded on mental representations of events, organised on non-temporal principles.

11 11 Questioning time Moens and Steedman 1988; Steedman 1997: temporality is supervenient on perspective and contingency; tense and aspect systems are founded on the same conceptual primitives as evidentiality Moens and Steedman 1988; Steedman 1997: temporality is supervenient on perspective and contingency; tense and aspect systems are founded on the same conceptual primitives as evidentiality  van Lambalgen and Hamm 2005: goals, planning, causation link the past with the present and the future. ‘[T]he linguistic coding of time is (…) driven by the future-oriented nature of our cognitive makeup’ (p. 13)

12 12 Parsons (2002, 2003): counterfactual theory of tense: truth-at-a-time replaced with truth-at-a-world. Parsons (2002, 2003): counterfactual theory of tense: truth-at-a-time replaced with truth-at-a-world. ‘M was wholly future and will be wholly past.’ ‘There is some past time such that, were it that time, M would be wholly future.’ ‘There is some future time such that, were it that time, M would be wholly past.’

13 13 Time as degree of detachment from the content: proposition, sentence, event…

14 14 Semantic/pragmatic detachment as modality Epistemic modality ‘refers to a judgement of the speaker: a proposition is judged to be uncertain or probable relative to some judgement(s). …epistemic modality concerns (has scope over) the whole proposition.’ van der Auwera and Plungian (1998: 81-82)

15 15 Modality vs. evidentiality  Inferential evidentiality overlaps with epistemic necessity (cf. van der Auwera and Plungian 1998) vs.  ‘the grammatical means of expressing information source’. ‘To be considered as an evidential, a morpheme has to have ‘source of information’ as its core meaning; that is, the unmarked, or default interpretation’. Aikhenvald (2004: xi, 3).

16 16 Futurity as modality Ludlow (1999): the future is modality understood as predictability or potentiality (‘disposition of the world’) Ludlow (1999): the future is modality understood as predictability or potentiality (‘disposition of the world’) Fleischman (1982): future is closely related to irrealis or nonfactive modality and deontic modality (bidirectional semantic shift: modals  tense  modals Fleischman (1982): future is closely related to irrealis or nonfactive modality and deontic modality (bidirectional semantic shift: modals  tense  modals remodalization cycle (van der Auwera and Plungian 1998): participant-external necessity  the future  epistemic necessity remodalization cycle (van der Auwera and Plungian 1998): participant-external necessity  the future  epistemic necessity

17 17 Pastness as modality Ludlow (1999): ‘past-tense morphology’ is an evidential marker – an assumption compatible with A-theory Ludlow (1999): ‘past-tense morphology’ is an evidential marker – an assumption compatible with A-theory Thomason (2002): pastness as historical necessity: if w 1  t w 2, then w 1 and w 2 share the same past up to and including t. Historical possibilities diminish monotonically with the passage of time. Thomason (2002): pastness as historical necessity: if w 1  t w 2, then w 1 and w 2 share the same past up to and including t. Historical possibilities diminish monotonically with the passage of time.

18 18 Futurity and the uses of the English will: two interrelated problems (1)Tom will go to Brussels on Friday. (regular future) (2)On Friday Tom is going to Brussels. (futurative progressive) (3)On Friday (This Friday) Tom goes to Brussels. (‘tenseless future’, Dowty 1979) (4)Tom is going to go to Brussels on Friday.

19 19 Clearly modal uses of will: (5)Tom will be in Brussels now. (epistemic necessity) (6)Tom will sometimes smoke at the dinner table just to annoy Sue. (dispositional necessity)

20 20 Planning and predictability (7)Mary is drawing a rabbit. ? (8)Mary is feeling unwell tomorrow night. ? (9) Mary feels unwell tomorrow night.

21 21 Temporality and tense in DRT (Kamp and Reyle 1993) Temporality and tense in DRT (Kamp and Reyle 1993) Temporality and tense in Default Semantics (Jaszczolt 2003, 2005, 2006) Temporality and tense in Default Semantics (Jaszczolt 2003, 2005, 2006)

22 22 ‘The algorithm must represent the temporal information that is contained in the tense of a sentence and in its temporal adverb (if there is one).’ Kamp & Reyle (1993: 512) Cf. the feature TENSE

23 23 (10)Michel n’est pas là. Il sera toujours au lit. (11)There’s the doorbell: that’ll be the delivery boy.

24 24 (5) (5) Tom will go to Brussels on Friday. (regular future)

25

26 Gradation of epistemic modality: strength of informative intention

27 Degree of modality

28 28 The Past (12) (12) Tom went to Brussels yesterday. (simple past) … (13) (13) Tom would have gone to Brussels by then. (epistemic necessity past/inferential evidentiality) … (14) (14) Tom may have gone to Brussels yesterday. (epistemic possibility past) … (15) (15) This is what happened yesterday. Tom goes to Brussels, meets Mary at the station, and says… (past of narration)

29 The Past: Degree of informative intention

30 The Past: Degree of modality

31 31 The Past: Towards a typology INPinferential necessity past (‘would have gone’) [ACC Δ inp e] WS, CPI 1 INP  ENP ? ENPepistemic necessity past (subsuming a set of constructions of different degree of intention and modality) ? EPPepistemic possibility past (subsuming a set of constructions of different degree of intention and modality)

32 32 : Grice’s (2001) Equivocality Thesis: Modals are univocal across the practical/ alethic divide. [ → deontic/epistemic] Acc – modal operator, ‘it is (rationally) acceptable that’

33 33 Acc ᅡ p‘it is acceptable that it is the case that p’ that let it be that p’ Acc ! p‘it is acceptable that let it be that p’ Operator on propositions or other abstract objects?

34 34 Part II: Analysis of Temporality in Default Semantics

35 35 Grice’s Modified Occam’s Razor (1978): Do not multiply senses beyond necessity. – against semantic ambiguity  sense-generality, underdetermined semantics  Default Semantics (Jaszczolt 2005)

36

37 37 Pragmatic information, such as the output of pragmatic inference or defaults, contributes to the truth-conditional content. The representation of the truth-conditional content is a merger of information from (i) word meaning and sentence structure, (ii) (conscious) pragmatic processes, and (iii) default meanings. Merger representations have truth conditions.

38 38 Default Semantics uses an adapted and extended formalism of DRT but applies it to the output of the merger of these sources of meaning.

39 39 Truth-conditional semantics (DRT, DS) or truth-conditional pragmatics (F. Recanati)? top-down pragmatic processes Compositional semantic theory of acts of communication

40 40 Truth-conditional pragmatics (e.g. Recanati 2003, 2004): truth value is predicated of an utterance – what is said by the speaker. ‘I haven’t eaten.’ Problem: degree of the contextual contribution (contextualism)

41 41 Principle of compositionality for merger representations: The meaning of the act of communication is a function of the meaning of the words, the sentence structure (WS), defaults (CD and SCD 1), and conscious pragmatic inference (CPI 1).

42 42 ACC as operator on events and states ACC e ACC Φ*m e ACC Δ n e ‘it is acceptable, to the degree n, that it is the case that e’

43 43 Interlude: Constructing Events

44 44 Kamp, van Genabith & Reyle (forthc.): Discourse referents for individuals, times, events, and states (the universe of a model M ). ‘Whether any one of these categories can be reduced to any combination of the others is left open.’ (p. 108).

45 45 Events and the A-series How many events took place in the last hour? ‘It is not part of linguistics to decide whether all matter is atomic or all happenings are reducible to little granules of process. Indeed, if contemporary physical theories are to be believed, such ultimate questions are basically incoherent.’ Bach (1986: 68)

46 46 Granularity of events The origin of the dispute: Ramsey (1927), Davidson (1967) [  Parsons (1990), Landman (2000)]; Kim (1976) The origin of the dispute: Ramsey (1927), Davidson (1967) [  Parsons (1990), Landman (2000)]; Kim (1976) Kim (1976): events are linguistically differentiated (stabbing vs. violent stabbing vs. knifing…). Temporal particulars. Kim (1976): events are linguistically differentiated (stabbing vs. violent stabbing vs. knifing…). Temporal particulars. Montague (1969): events are properties of moments or intervals of time Montague (1969): events are properties of moments or intervals of time Chisholm (1970): events are states of affairs Chisholm (1970): events are states of affairs Schein (2002): events vs. finely-grained scenes Schein (2002): events vs. finely-grained scenes cf. also Pianesi and Varzi 2000

47 Events and time Asher (2000): atemporal facts vs. temporal events Asher (2000): atemporal facts vs. temporal events van Lambalgen and Hamm (2005): an event type + time = an event token van Lambalgen and Hamm (2005): an event type + time = an event token Rothstein (2004): events are theoretical constructs, made up according to the current needs: ‘Mary built three houses in three months.’  Default Semantics: finely-grained events (cf. Kim) finely-grained events (cf. Kim) time-independent events (cf. Chisholm) time-independent events (cf. Chisholm)

48 48 End of Interlude

49 Generalized MR for (1)-(3): rf, fp, tf

50 MR for (2): Futurative progressive

51 MR for (5): Epistemic necessity

52 MR for (12): Simple Past

53 MR for (15), Tom goes to Brussels: Past of Narration

54

55 55 Conclusions ACC Δ n, an operator on eventualities, combined with CD and CPI 1, allows for representing different degrees of modality and different degrees of informative intentions associated with acts of communication. ACC Δ n, an operator on eventualities, combined with CD and CPI 1, allows for representing different degrees of modality and different degrees of informative intentions associated with acts of communication. This notion of gradable modality can be applied to representing utterances about the future, the past, and the present (analogously). This notion of gradable modality can be applied to representing utterances about the future, the past, and the present (analogously). Merger representations of DS are one example of such an application. Merger representations of DS are one example of such an application.

56 56 Select references Aikhenvald, A. Y Evidentiality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Asher, N ‘Events, facts, propositions, and evolutive anaphora’. In: J. Higginbotham, F. Pianesi and A. C. Varzi (eds). Speaking of Events. Oxford: Oxford University Press Asher, N. and A. Lascarides Logics of Conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Van der Auwera, J. and V.A. Plungian ‘Modality’s semantic map’. Linguistic Typology Bach, E ‘The algebra of events’. Linguistics and Philosophy 9. Reprinted in: I. Mani et al. (eds) The Language of Time: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press Davidson, D ‘The logical form of action sentences’. In: N. Rescher (ed.). The Logic of Decision and Action. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted in: D. Davidson Essays on Actions and Events. Oxford: Clarendon Press Dowty, D. R Word Meaning and Montague Grammar: The Semantics of Verbs and Times in Generative Semantics and in Montague’s PTQ. Dordrecht: D. Reidel. van Eijck, J. and H. Kamp ‘Representing discourse in context’. In J. van Benthem and A. ter Meulen (eds). Handbook of Logic and Language. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science

57 57 Enç, M ‘Tense and modality’. In S. Lappin, ed. The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Oxford: Blackwell Fleischman, S The Future in Thought and Language: Diachronic Evidence from Romance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Grice, P ‘Further notes on logic and conversation’. In: P. Cole (ed.), Syntax and Semantics vol. 9. New York: Academic Press. Reprinted in: H. P. Grice, 1989, Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press Grice, P Aspects of Reason. Ed. by R. Warner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Gennari, S. P ‘Tense meanings and temporal interpretation.’ Journal of Semantics Groenendijk, J. and M. Stokhof ‘Dynamic Predicate Logic’. Linguistics and Philosophy Jaszczolt, K. M Discourse, Beliefs, and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascription. Oxford: Elsevier Science. Jaszczolt, K. M Semantics and Pragmatics: Meaning in Language and Discourse. London: Longman. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘The modality of the future: A Default-Semantics account’. In P. Dekker and R. van Rooy (eds). Proceedings of the 14 th Amsterdam Colloquium. ILLC, University of Amsterdam

58 58 Jaszczolt, K. M Default Semantics: Foundations of a Compositional Theory of Acts of Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jaszczolt, K. M ‘Futurity in Default Semantics’. In: K. von Heusinger and K. Turner (eds). Where Semantics Meets Pragmatics: The Michigan Papers. Oxford: Elsevier Kamp, H. and U. Reyle From Discourse to Logic: Introduction to Modeltheoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Kamp, H., J. van Genabith & U. Reyle. forthcoming. ‘Discourse Representation Theory’. In: D.M. Gabbay & F. Guenthner (eds). Handbook of Philosophical Logic. Second edition. Kim, J ‘Events as property exemplifications’. In: M. Brand and D. Walton (eds). Action Theory. Dordrecht: D. Reidel. Reprinted in: J. Kim Supervenience and Mind: Selected Philosophical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Van Lambalgen, M. and F. Hamm The Proper Treatment of Events. Oxford: Blackwell. Ludlow, P Semantics, Tense, and Time: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Natural Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

59 59 McTaggart, J. E ‘The unreality of time’. Mind 17. Reprinted in: J. E. McTaggart Philosophical Studies. London: E. Arnold Moens, M. and M. Steedman ‘Temporal ontology and temporal reference’. Computational Linguistics 14. Reprinted in: I. Mani et al. (eds) The Language of Time: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press Montague, R ‘On the nature of certain philosophical entities’. The Monist 53. Reprinted in: R. H. Thomason (ed.) Formal Philosophy: Selected Papers of Richard Montague. New Haven: Yale University Press Nuyts, J Epistemic Modality, Language, and Conceptualization: A Cognitive-Pragmatic Perspective. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins. Parsons, J ‘A-theory for B-theorists’. Philosophical Quarterly Parsons, J ‘A-theory for tense logicians’. Analysis Parsons, T Events in the Semantics of English: A Study in Subatomic Semantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Pianesi, F. and A. C. Varzi ‘Events and event talk: An introduction’. In: J. Higginbotham, F. Pianesi and A. C. Varzi (eds). Speaking of Events. Oxford: Oxford University Press

60 60 Ramsey, F. P ‘Facts and propositions’. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, suppl. vol. 7. Reprinted in: F. P. Ramsey Philosophical Papers, ed. by D. H. Mellor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Philosophical Perspectives, 17: Recanati, F ‘Embedded implicatures’. Philosophical Perspectives, 17: Recanati, F Literal Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sattig, T The Language and Reality of Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Schein, B ‘Events and the semantic content of thematic relations’. In: G. Preyer and G. Peters (eds). Logical Form and Language. Oxford: Clarendon Press Smith, Q Language and Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Steedman, M ‘Temporality’. In: J. van Benthem and A. ter Meulen (eds). Handbook of Logic and Language. Oxford: Elsevier Science Thomason, R. H ‘Combinations of tense and modality’. In: D. Gabbay and F. Guenthner (eds). Handbook of Philosophical Logic 7. Dordrecht: Kluwer


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