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Reference and quantification in the verb tenses of Portuguese

Grant number: 13/21993-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): July 20, 2014
Effective date (End): July 19, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Barra Ferreira
Grantee:Marcelo Barra Ferreira
Host Investigator: Norbert Hornstein
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Maryland, College Park, United States  


Natural languages have a variety of resources that help expressing the occurrences of situations that precede, is preceded by, or overlap with the speech time. A clear example is the verb tense system of Portuguese, the empirical object of this project. We aim at developing a formal -- logic-mathematic -- analysis which accounts for the interpretation of these tenses and the way they interact with other elements in the sentence. Even a cursory look at these verb forms and a comparison with related items in other languages make it clear that both referential (deitic and anaphoric) and quantificational ingredients play a role in their interpretation. Moreover, the temporal elements of a sentence interact in intricate and subtle ways with modal elements, specially in embedded contexts, requiring a deep understanding of the interaction between tense and modality in natural language interpretation. The main goal of this project is a formal analysis of the deitic, anaphoric, and quantificational properties of verb tenses in Portuguese, with special emphasis on how tense and modality interact in embedded contexts. We intend to analyze the temporal, aspectual, and modal features of these tenses in both the indicative and the subjunctive subsystems and propose a formal, compositional interpretation for the structures in which they occur. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FERREIRA, MARCELO. The semantic ingredients of imperfectivity in progressives, habituals, and counterfactuals. NATURAL LANGUAGE SEMANTICS, v. 24, n. 4, p. 353-397, . (13/21993-8)
FERREIRA, MARCELO. On The Indexicality of Portuguese Past Tenses. JOURNAL OF SEMANTICS, v. 34, n. 4, p. 633-657, . (13/21993-8)

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