In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK NOTICES 197 glish. Ogihara defends what can be called a 'relative tense theory', in contrast with an alternative absolute tense theory in which tenses are indexicals. According to the author, the apparent indexical behavior of tense is an epiphenomenon. In embedded contexts, tenses are normally interpreted as embedded in the scope of higher tenses. Japanese is a pure relative tense language. Tense morphemes are generally interpreted as embedded, and the highest tense is interpreted in relation to the speech time through selfattribution by the speaker ofthe property denoted by the matrix clause. In Ch. 2, the semantics of tense in simple clauses is discussed. In the third and fourth chapters, the interpretation of tense in embedded clauses is studied, and O develops a new theory of the sequence oftense (SOT) phenomena in embedded sentences. A sentence such as John said that Mary was in Seattle is ambiguous between a simultaneous reading (the time in which Mary is in Seattle is the time of John's saying) and a shifted reading (the time of Mary's being in Seattle precedes the time of John's saying). In contrast, in the Japanese counterpart of this sentence , a present tense morpheme is used in the embedded clause, and the sentence lacks the shifted reading. O argues against an account based on the treatment of tenses as anaphoric pronouns and proposes a SOT rule that optionally deletes a past or present tense when it occurs in the scope of a higher tense. The result is an LF representation in which the embedded tense is semantically empty. Since the rule is optional in English, the shifted reading arises when the embedded past tense is not deleted. O shows that Japanese lacks a SOT rule, and the Japanese present tense morpheme is equivalent to the English null tense. In Ch. 5, 0 studies the interpretation offense morphemes in relative clauses and temporal adverbial clauses. In the case offenses in relative clauses, there is a third reading that is derived through the interaction of the SOT rule and the scoping of the modified NP by quantifier raising. In the sentence John met a man who was crying, the third reading is the one in which the time of the man's crying is in between the time of John's meeting and the utterance time. This interpretation is a by-product of the operation of quantifier raising, which moves the noun phrase to a position where the tense of the relative clause has scope over the tense of the matrix sentence. In this case, the two tenses are interpreted as independent. In Ch. 6, so-called double-access sentences are discussed , which are problematic for the author's theory given his treatment ofthe sequence oftense phenomena . O defends the idea that double access sentences are instances of a de re report about a state. This book constitutes the most extensive and detailed study of the formal semantics of tense in embedded contexts and will be of interest to syntacticians and fundamentally to semanticists. It assumes a very basic generative syntax and a standard Montagovian intensional semantics. Overall, the attention to detail and the elegance of the account proposed and its implementation makes this a superb contribution to the cross-linguistic study of tense. [Javier Gutierrez-Rexach, OAi'o State University.] Situations, tense, and aspect. By Renate Bartsch. (Groningen-Amsterdam studies in semantics, 13.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1995. Pp. ix, 289. The study of the semantics of situations was one of the highlights in the semantics of the 1980s (Jon Barwise & John Perry. 1983. Situations and attitudes , Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Angelika Kratzer. 1989. An investigation of the lumps of thought. Linguistics and Philosophy 12:607-53). This book presents an important development of this enterprise: the study of the dynamics of situations in discourse. An important difference from the situation semantics of Barwise and Perry is that basic situations are treated by Bartsch as entities that can be referred to and quantified over. Thus, from an ontological standpoint, the central issue becomes to clarify their identity conditions. In Ch. 1, B characterizes basic situations as intensional entities distinguished from facts. Basic situations are events, processes, and...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 197-198
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.