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When temporal expressions don't tell time. Now-indexicals and temporal connectives as argumentative markers.
Presentation at "Space and Time across languages and cultures", April 2010, Cambridge

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Presentation cambridge

  1. 1. When temporal expressions don't tell timenow-indexicals and temporal connectives as argumentative markers<br />Louis de SaussureUniversité de Neuchâtel<br />STALDAC Cambridge, Apr. 2010<br />
  2. 2. 2<br />0. Apologies<br />1. Now-Indexicals indicating non-(strictly)temporal information<br />focus on French maintenant<br />2. Connectives (same)<br />focus on French ensuite and puis<br />
  3. 3. Now-Indexicals<br />Good candidates for being universals if they convey pure token-reflexive instructions, or mean the temporal 'origo' (Bühler), the 'cognitive present'.<br />However:<br />They can bear a variety of meanings in some languages, like contrast in French or Italian, quite independantly of the 'present time' or of 'token-reflexivity'.<br />Many languages have several expressions indicating now-indexicality, all with their specializations.<br />Translation is not always successful<br />surprising if dealing with a basic logical element of meaning<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Several expressions, several meanings<br />Now, (yet), maintenant, adesso, ora, jetzt, nun, teper' sejcas…<br />obviously encode temporal now-indexicality but they are likely to add specific and idiosyncratic components of meaning<br />Now-indexicality is only the atomic meaning core of such expressions, but does not exhaust their meanings in context.<br />They combine a semantic core with context-dependant instructions <br />They can be accounted for as encoding a conceptual core together with specific paths of pragmatic enrichment<br />Procedural expressions <br />4<br />
  5. 5. Two faces of (temporal) indexicals<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Two problems of translation<br />Switched indexicality:<br />I am not here now (answering machine, Perry)<br />Je ne suis pas *ici *maintenant (vs. là en ce moment)<br />H: 'maintenant' unavailable for the hearer's deictic time when it doesn't match the speaker's (?)<br />Contrastive ('argumentative') uses:<br />On sait qu'ils se voient souvent; maintenant on ne sait pas s'ils sont amants (Nef 1978)<br />We know they see each-other often; yet / ?now we don't know if they are lovers. (* Italian adesso)<br />'now', 'adesso' unavailable / less available for contrast marking (?)<br />consequence: the explanation by a metaphoric transfer from real temporality to argumentative / discursive temporality is too strong or false.<br />claim: maintenant bears a component found in yet but not in now, adesso, nor in en ce moment. <br />6<br />
  7. 7. Three different uses<br />Temporal<br />Basic: I'm now in Cambridge / Je suis maintenant à C.<br />Switched: I am not here now / * Je ne suis pas ici maintenant<br />Discursive (indicates the temporality of the speech acts)<br />Now, let's talk business! / Maintenant, parlons affaires! / Adesso parliamo di lavoro!<br />Argumentative (contrast)<br />We know they see each-other often. ?Now / Yet we don't know if they are lovers.<br />On sait qu'ils se voient souvent. Maintenant, on ne sait pas s'ils sont amants.<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Discursive and argumentative uses<br />Discursive uses are temporal:<br />Maintenant, parlons affaires!<br />Now, let's talk business!<br />C'est maintenant qu'on va parler affaires.<br />It's now that we'll talk business.<br />Maintenant, parlons affaires, cela ne peut pas attendre!<br />Now, let's talk business, that can't wait!<br /> Maintenant, Now scope over the whole proposition<br />Argumentative uses are not:<br />*C'est maintenant qu'on ne sait pas s'ils sont amants<br />* It's now/yet that we don't know if they are lovers or not.<br />H: Argumentative uses of maintenant are NOT indicating temporal circumstances but a kind of connection.<br />(which might in turn be rooted in a 'temporal' connection)<br />8<br />
  9. 9. A first hypothesis<br />Maintenant utterances are about a state of affairs true at S being brought to the consciousness of the speaker. If the temporal information is not relevant, then relevance will be seeked for by contrasting with what precedes (arg. reading).<br />After Nef (1978): arg. maintenant cancels a previous assumption. <br />no clue about the semantic connection between arg. maintenant and temporal maintenant.<br />Assumption: this is not (only) due to the temporal meaning of maintenant but is part of the pragmatic procedure encoded by maintenant. <br />The new situation must be found relevant in the situation of speech and contrasting with the one previously holding or with a previously held assumption.<br />9<br />
  10. 10. An indication<br />If maintenant only meant 'temporal origo' then it should be interchangeable with other equivalent expressions (typically demonstratives). But this is possible only for simple temporal uses.<br />Je suis au bureau maintenant / en ce moment (I am in the office now)<br />? On sait qu’ils se voient souvent, en ce moment / à présent / au moment où je vous parle / désormais / on ne sait pas s’ils sont amants<br />cannot escape from a temporal meaning<br />maintenant, contrarily to the above expressions, doesn't catch-up with the referential time but marks the emergence of a new argument cancelling an anticipatory assumption<br />On savait qu'ils se voyaient souvent, maintenant on ne savait pas s'ils étaient amants.<br />We knew they were meeting often, ? now we didn't know if they were lovers. <br />10<br />
  11. 11. Italian<br />…accepts only ora in order to indicate the structuration of the argumentation<br />Ora (*adesso), se passiamo all’analisi del secondo esempio vediamo che la nostra ipotesi dovrà essere modificata.<br />?Now / Yet, if we switch to the analysis of the second example, we see that our hypothesis will need to be modified.<br />11<br />
  12. 12. assumptions regarding ARG-maintenant<br />The simple fact of signalling explicitly the emergence of a new element in the consciousness of the speaker entails that new conclusions should be derived. <br />That new conclusions should be derived entail that they are to be searched as:<br />contradictory with the whole of what precedes (resumption / summary)<br />Cette théorie est un peu bizarre. *Maintenant (/mais), elle a été pratiquement prouvée.<br />This theory is a bit weird. ?Now (but) it has been practically proven right.<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Je ne suis pas *ici *maintenantvs. 'I am not here now'<br />If maintenant (but maybe not now) communicates not only the cognitive present but the consciousness of it by the speaker, then the temporality involved has to be the very present of the speaker (/ allocentric instance).<br />a delayed 'maintenant' is meaningless. <br />On the contrary, a demonstrative like en ce moment is all right (Je ne suis pas là en ce moment).<br />picks up a relevant moment which whatever instance can associate with a present, be it the hearer only or no individual at all.<br />Is now a demonstrative? Or sometimes a demonstrative (see Recanati 2004 for a discussion on the anaphoric-perspectivalnow).<br />Maintenant is representing the speaker's proprioception of the present time as she lives it. <br />13<br />
  14. 14. A consequence<br />This might also explain why maintenant is a typical trigger for free indirect speech or represented thought in French, whereas now is probably not.<br />Maintenant has to be associated with an individual's proprioception; <br />if not the speaker then an allocentric instance  metarepresented thought / FIS<br />14<br />
  15. 15. FIS<br />(a) In the summer of 1829 (R), Aloysia Lange, born Weber, visited Mary Novello in her hotel room in Vienna… Aloysia, the once celebrated singer, now an old lady of sixty-seven… gave Mary the impression of a broken woman lamenting her fate. (Predelli 1998).<br />doesn't have to be FIS<br />may be 'perspectival' (as in 'left of the plane') but not 'subjective'<br />(b) Durant l’été 1829 (R), Aloysia Lange, née Weber, rendit visite à Mary Novello à sa chambre d’hôtel de Vienne… Aloysia, cette chanteuse autrefois adulée, maintenant une vieille dame de soixante-sept ans… fit à Mary l’impression d’une femme usée se lamentant sur son destin.<br />has to be FIS (Aloysia, or possibly the narrator, is represented as taking consciousness of Aloysia being old).<br />That's it for now and maintenant.<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Procedurality of maintenant<br />Maintenant (P)<br />A: P true at S according to the speaker's proprioception.<br />if A relevant then temporal reading.<br />if A impossible / implausible then FIS.<br />P true at S according to X's proprioception.<br />if A uninformative then seek the consequences of the speaker representing A.<br />New conclusions to be derived, contrast.<br />16<br />
  17. 17. ensuite / puis (≈ 'then')<br />D'abord, je suis fatigué. Ensuite / Et puis / *Puis, aller au restaurant est la dernière chose qui me ferait plaisir ce soir.<br />To begin with, I am tired. Then, going to the restaurant is the last thing to please me tonight.<br />Assumption: argumentative interpretations are not enrichments of temporal but of serial expressions.<br />D'abord – ensuite – enfin : OK<br />Avant – puis – après…: *<br />Organisation of representations rather than temporal order.<br />17<br />
  18. 18. A prediction and a conclusion<br />If ensuite indicates serial order, then<br />ensuite mais pas plus tard should be acceptable<br />* après mais pas plus tard should be odd<br />Ensuite is not primarily temporal but serial<br />If puis is not possible in argumentative readings, then puis is basically temporal<br />18<br />
  19. 19. This year's summer<br />L’été de cette année-là vit de nombreux changements dans la vie de nos héros. D’abord, Max épousa Marie. Ensuite, Pierre acheta une maison à la campagne. Enfin, Paul partit pour le Brésil. <br />Ensuite doesn't force a temporal reading. The connectives are understood as providing a list (Elaboration). <br />L’été de cette année-là vit de nombreux changements dans la vie de nos héros. D’abord, Max épousa Marie, puis Pierre acheta une maison à la campagne. Enfin, Paul partit pour le Brésil.<br />Puis forces a temporal reading. The connectives are understood as temporal (since serial information can be specified as temporal).<br />19<br />
  20. 20. Ensuite and puis<br />Ensuite: next on the list<br />if relevant: next temporally (but with constraints on the temporal connection). <br />Puis: next temporally.<br />If relevant: next temporally as a trajectory<br />Il y a d'abord le jardin, puis le manoir, et enfin les dépendances, tout cela est magnifique.<br />There is first the garden, then the manor, and finally the dependances, all this is magnificent.<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Thank you for your attention<br />21<br />
  22. 22. 22<br />

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