Events in Space

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Events in Space

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Title: Events in Space
Author: Deal, Amy Rose
Citation: Deal, Amy Rose. 2009. Events in space. Paper presented at Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 18: March 21-23, 2008, UMass Amherst, MA.
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Abstract: Many languages make use of verbal forms to express spatial relations and distinctions. Spatial notions are lexicalized into verb roots, as in come and go; they are expressed by derivational-morphology such as Inese˜no Chumash maquti ‘hither and thither’ or Shasta eh´ee ‘downward’ (Mithun 1999: 140-141); and, I will argue, they are expressed by verbal inflectional morphology in Nez Perce. This verbal inflection for space shows a number of parallels with inflection for tense, which it appears
immediately below. Like tense, space markers in Nez Perce are a closed-class inflectional category with a basic locativemeaning; they differ in the axis along which their locative meaning is computed. The syntax and semantics of space inflection raises the question of just how tight the liaison is between verbal categories and temporal specification. I argue that in view of the presence of space inflection in languages like Nez Perce, tense marking is best captured as a device for narrowing the temporal coordinates of a spatiotemporally located sentence topic.
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