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A non-uniform semantic analysis of the Italian temporal connectives Prima and Dopo

Abstract : In this paper, I argue that the temporal connective prima ('before') is a comparative adverb. The argument is based on a number of grammatical facts from Italian, showing that there is an asymmetry between prima and dopo ('after'). On the ground of their divergent behaviour, I suggest that dopo has a different grammatical status from prima. I propose a semantic treatment for prima that is based on an independently motivated analysis of comparatives which can be traced back to Seuren (1973). Dopo is analyzed instead as an atomic two-place predicate which contributes a binary relation over events to the sentence meaning. The different semantic treatments of the two connectives provide an explanation for the grammatical asymmetries considered at the outset; interestingly, it also sheds some light on other asymmetries between prima and dopo which are known to hold for the English temporal connectives before and after as well: these asymmetries are related to the veridicality properties, the distribution of NPIs, and the logical properties of these connectives first described in Anscombe (1964).
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Contributor : Fabio del Prete <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 9, 2009 - 4:32:49 PM
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Fabio del Prete. A non-uniform semantic analysis of the Italian temporal connectives Prima and Dopo. Natural Language Semantics, Springer Verlag, 2008, 16 (2), pp.157-203. ⟨10.1007/s11050-008-9030-6⟩. ⟨ijn_00423377⟩



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