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Time, Mood and Aspect in German Tense


Richard D'Alquen

A wide-ranging appreciation of tense scholarship precedes a new analysis of tense that reverses the trend to marginalize time but without reverting to the oversimplified concepts of earlier decades. The use of implicature allows the present and future tenses to be seen as having complementary primary time ranges together with complementary modalities in the secondary time ranges. The age-old problem of the choice between perfect and preterite is illuminated historically as a conflict of sub-systems within the standard language. A postscript on the subjunctive rounds off this semantic analysis of German tense forms.
Contents: Tense logic: the right tool? - Atemporality; the new consensus? - 'Spread' and 'primacy': two new devices for the analysis of the present and future tenses - Split deixis and tense shifting - 'Basic' and 'Upper German' perfects - A perfect paradox resolved.