As Time Goes by: Tense and Universal Grammar

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MIT Press, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 242 pages
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How do humans acquire, at a very early age and from fragmentary and haphazard data, the complex patterns of their native language? This is the logical problem of language acquisition, and it is the question that directs the search for an innate universal grammar. As Time Goes By extends the search by proposing a theory of natural-language tense that will be responsive to the problem of language acquisition.

The clearly written discussion proceeds step-by-step from simple observations and principles to far-reaching conclusions involving complex data carefully selected and persuasively presented. Throughout, Hornstein focuses on the logical problem of language acquisition, highlighting the importance of explanatory adequacy and the role of syntactic representations in determining intricate properties of semantic interpretation.

 

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Contents

The Basic Tenses 8 A Reichenbachian Theory
10
3
24
4 1
30
6
38
6
67
A Reichenbachian Answer to Platos Tenses and the Logical Problem
82
4
97
Mapping from Morphemes
111
A Brief
120
3
133
5
146
7
164
Bierwischs Puzzle and the Diachrony
177
3
196
Bibliography
236
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About the author (1993)

Norbert Hornstein, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, is the author of Logic as Grammar: An Approach to Meaning in Natural Languages.

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