Future Times, Future Tenses

ISBN : 9780199679157

Philippe de Brabanter; Mikhail Kissine; Saghie Sharifzadeh
320 Pages
162 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jun 2014
Oxford Studies of Time in Language and Thought
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Future Times, Future Tenses examines how the future is expressed by means of tense, aspect, and modality across a wide range of languages, among them French, Polish, Basque, Turkish, and West Greenlandic. From the present point of view, the future is not fixed: while there is arguably only one past, the future is largely open and/or indeterminate. Reference to the future has thus become one of the most hotly-debated topics in contemporary linguistics: the interactions of future tense with future time, and of future tense with the semantics of possible worlds, are crucial to any satisfactory account of temporal linguistics. This book considers and seeks a resolution to outstanding issues in the field by uniting linguistic and philosophical perspectives on future reference in natural language. Scholars from different parts of the world approach these issues from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including those of linguistic typology, formal semantics, pragmatics, and philosophy of language. In the process they question the very validity of the traditional notion of a specific marker for future tense. The book shows the close connections between linguistic, logical, metaphysical, ontological, and epistemological issues concerning the future and reveals the value of linking linguistic considerations of tense and aspect to philosophical approaches to modality and time.


1. Introduction
2. Talking about the Future: Unsettled truth and assertion
3. The interpretation of indefinites in future tense sentences: A novel argument for the modality of will
4. Causal chains for futurates
5. Future temporal reference in child language
6. Markers of futurity and aspect in West Greenlandic
7. Future tense, prospective aspect, and irrealis mood as part of the situation perspective: Insights from Basque, Turkish, and Papuan
8. The riddle of 'Future Tense' in Polish
9. On future in commands
10. Evidential futures: The case of Spanish
11. Future reference and current relevance with the French composed past

About the author: 

Philippe De Brabanter holds a PhD in Linguistics from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (2002). A member of Institut Jean Nicod and Maitre de Conferences at Universite Paris-Sorbonne until 2012, he currently teaches English linguistics at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. His research has centred on the semantics-pragmatics interface, with special attention to ordinary meta-discourse (quotation, semantic deference and metalinguistic anaphora). ; Mikhail Kissine is assistant professor at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. He is the author of From Utterances to Speech Acts (CUP, 2013), and the co-author, with Mark Jary, of Imperatives (CUP, in press). In addition, he has published widely on semantics, pragmatics and philosophy of language. ; Saghie Sharifzadeh is a Maitre de Conferences at the Universite Paris - Sorbonne. She holds a PhD in English Linguistics from the same university (2012) as well as the agregation in English. She has worked extensively on the English verb and on verbal anaphora, and has recently been focusing on colour terms.

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