La fabrique des formes et du sens
Edited By Thierry Gallèpe
Les formes verbales surcomposées en allemand : Un troisième temps d’évaluation et des variations de sens
In this chapter, I will propose a new analysis of the semantic value of double perfects (doppeltes Perfekt and doppeltes Plusquamperfekt) in German which is based on an alternative formal description of these complex compound tenses. In my model, double perfects differ from “simple” compound tenses insofar as their auxiliary is itself composed of a finite part and a non-finite past participle. On this bases, I will argue for the existence of a third evaluation time in the past, established by the past participle of the auxiliary, which is added to the first evaluation time (set by the moment of speech) and the second evaluation time (set by the finite verb) – both in the present. I want to show how the assumption of the additional third evaluation time in the past – though redundant at first sight – can explain the different usages of double perfects in German. From this perspective, many usages of these forms seem to be implicatures rather than a semantic value of its own.
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