If you can show the future, I know what you are made of: aspect + modal-temporal domain in Serbian

Source document: Linguistica Brunensia. 2017, vol. 65, iss. 2, pp. 87-101
  • ISSN
    1803-7410 (print)
    2336-4440 (online)
License: Not specified license
This paper illustrates restrictions on perfective forms under future interpretation in Serbian. It is argued that such restrictions can be captured under an account based on the syntax-semantics interplay. Regarding semantics, the restrictions arise when the reference time interval is very short (Todorović 2015, 2016). Such an analysis predicts the perfective to be restricted with semantic present, but not in past and future contexts. Interestingly, future interpretation in Serbian can, a.o., be obtained with morphological present – in some of those cases, the perfective is felicitous. It is argued that, in those instances, possibility of the perfective is an indication that the structure contains a covert modal/future component which provides the longer reference time interval needed for the perfective to be felicitous. Regarding syntax, it is proposed that this covert future component requires syntactic licensing. Thus, (im)possibility of the perfective reflects the presence/absence of a covert modal/future element in the structure. More generally, it indicates the composition of the temporal-modal clausal domain.
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