Vacuous and Non-Vacuous Behaviors of the Present Tense in English

  • Laine Stranahan

Abstract

The present tense behaves vacuously when modifying nominals expressing intervals like “last Tuesday” but not when modifying nominals expressing individuals like “John.” Under a presuppositional theory of tense, I show that if the present tense is vacuous then the difference in behavior can be reduced to a difference in the relative scopes of presupposition maximization and distributivity, and that in turn the scope difference can be explained by a general principle of utterance strength maximization.
How to Cite
Stranahan, L. (1). Vacuous and Non-Vacuous Behaviors of the Present Tense in English. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 18, 415-432. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/325