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Thanh Nyan

From a Darwinian perspective, language is rooted in our neurobiology, and the process whereby interpretation is reached – in the case of argumentative sequences – is not dissimilar to that underlying action selection in response to environmental change: indeed, it arguably involves the same type of decision-making (Damasio 1994). Context construction, as construed by Nyan, corresponds to the preliminary stage of decision-making, when the changed environment needs to be categorised. What discourse markers contribute to context construction is an upgraded level of automation, whereby the degree of variation assumed to be present in the interlocutor’s processing context can be brought within a manageable range. How discourse markers influence interpretation is construed in terms of Damasio’s (2010) convergence-and-divergence zone framework.


Edgar Onea

In Potential Questions at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface Edgar Onea proposes a novel component for question under discussion based discourse pragmatic theories thereby combining such theories with new ideas from inquisitive semantics. He shows how potential questions account for an entire range of grammatical phenomena. These phenomena include the semantics of indefinite determiners, the meaning contribution of nominal appositives, specificational constructions and non restrictive relative clauses.

This book delivers a comprehensive and empirically rich investigation into the role of questions in natural language interpretation. Drawing on data from German, English, Hungarian and Russian, Edgar Onea's study significantly broadens our understanding of conventional sensitivity to questions through formally rigorous analyses of specificational particles, parentheticals and indefinites. The Potential Questions framework offers a new and exciting perspective on utterance meanings as not just addressing, but also raising questions, with important consequences for integrated analyses of discourse structure and discourse relations. This book is essential reading for anybody interested in the semantics-pragmatics interface.

Judith Tonhauser, The Ohio State University

Aoristes et parfaits

En français, latin, corse, estonien et polonais


Edited by Pierre-Don Giancarli and Marc Fryd

Le présent volume regroupe onze contributions centrées sur le parfait et l’aoriste dans cinq langues : Joffre expose l’ambiguïté fondamentale du passif périphrastique et des déponents latins, tandis que Dalbera propose un invariant à son parfait. Giancarli vérifie l’existence d’une corrélation entre la variation d’auxiliaire et celle du participe passé du verbe corse. Le statut de parfait de la construction polonaise avoir + participe + objet est mis en doute successivement par Nowakowska et par Sikora. Treikelder se concentre sur l’émergence du parfait estonien en contexte atypique. En français, Lindschouw & Schøsler envisagent les relations entre circonstants temporels, passé compose et passé simple ; Vetters retrace la dérive aoristique de ce dernier tandis que Apothéloz se refuse à parler d’aoriste.

This volume is a collection of eleven contributions dealing with perfect and aorist tenses in five languages: Joffre shows the fundamental ambiguity of the periphrasis of Latin passive and deponent verbs, while Dalbera proposes an invariant meaning for its perfect. Giancarli tests the hypothesis of a correlation between the variation of auxiliaries and that of past participles in Corsican. The perfect status of the Polish have + participle + object construction is questioned in turn by Nowakowska and Sikora. Treikelder focuses on the Estonian perfect in atypical contexts. Concerning French, Lindschouw & Schøsler look at the relationships between time adjuncts, passé compose and passé simple; Vetters describes the aoristic evolution of the latter, while Apothéloz explains why it should not be considered an aorist.

Contributors are: Denis Apothéloz, Joseph Dalbera, Pierre-Don Giancarli, Marie-Dominique Joffre, Jan Lindschouw, Małgorzata Nowakowska, Lene Schøsler, Dorota Sikora, Anu Treikelder, Carl Vetters.