MoL-2015-03: Slovenian Perfective and Imperfective Explicit Performative Utterances

MoL-2015-03: Močnik, Maša (2015) Slovenian Perfective and Imperfective Explicit Performative Utterances. [Report]

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Utterances of sentences such as I promise to come can in the right circumstances bring about the act named by the main verb, a promise in this case. They are called explicit performative utterances, and in English they typically appear with the simple present tense (perfective aspect) and not with the progressive (?I’m promising to come), a subtype of the imperfective aspect. Slovenian performative utterances are intriguing because a verb like promise can be used both in the perfective and the imperfective form to bring about the act of promising. The Slovenian imperfective is similar to the English progressive in that it can present events in progress (it does not entail the event’s completion). Why is it sufficient in Slovenian (but not in English) to be in the process of promising to also promise?
The thesis tries to answer this question by taking the relevant distinction between the Slovenian imperfective and the English progressive to be in that the former denotes a possibly incomplete event and the latter denotes a necessarily incomplete one. This distinction is incorporated in a self-referential account: performative verbs are essentially anaphoric expressions (like pronouns, for example) that can successfully bind to an accessible communicative event, such as the actual utterance event. The thesis also includes an empirical investigation of Slovenian performativity.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2015-03
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: logic, language
Subjects: Logic
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2018 00:24

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