Temporal specification of the present perfect: a corpus-based study

In: New Frontiers of Corpus Research


Temporal relations in English are expressed by both verbal patterns and non-verbal elements, such as temporal adverbials. Most grammatical descriptions referring to temporal adverbials in this function, however, are not derived from empirical investigations but from intuitive impressions. The aim of this paper is to present results of a corpus-based study on the temporal specification of the present perfect. The paper investigates the degree of temporally specified utterances with the present perfect and distinguishes the temporal adverbials according to their syntactic realisations. In the final part, the paper lists the 10 most frequent temporal adverbials co-occurring with the present perfect in British and American English and compares both lists to each other. The analysis presented here is part of a more comprehensive empirical study of the present perfect in British and American English and in ELT.

New Frontiers of Corpus Research

Papers from the Twenty First International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora Sydney 2000



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