Imperfectivity and Habituality in ItalianReport as inadecuate

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1 CLLE-ERSS - Cognition, Langues, Langage, Ergonomie

Abstract : The chapter proposes a semantic analysis of Italian imperfective sentences which uniformly accounts for their habitual and progressive readings. Bare imperfectives with singular indefinites in object position are considered, and the observation is made that singular indefinites systematically give rise to -same object- SO effects in these contexts, sometimes making the containing sentence odd on a habitual interpretation. It is further noted that SO effects are absent if a Q-adverb occurs in the sentence, showing that singular indefinites can distribute over Q-adverbs, while there is no underlying generic quantifier over which singular indefinites can distribute. These observations are taken to motivate a non-quantificational account of imperfective habituals, based on a semantic analysis of verbs in terms of plural events Kratzer 2008 and a modal-temporal analysis of imperfective aspect as a forward-expanding operator in a branching time model Deo 2010. On the proposed account, the repetition involved in habituals does not depend on any underlying quantifier but uniquely comes from verbal plurality.

Keywords : Imperfectivity Habituality Event plurality Adverbs of quantification Indefinites Same-object effect Progressive Branching Time

Author: Fabio Del Prete -



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