Tense, Attitudes, and Scope

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Tense, Attitudes, and Scope is a model-theoretic inquiry into the semantics of tense in natural language. The book presents the view that the semantic contribution of tense is made in relation to structurally higher expressions (the 'relative tense theory') and argues against the view that tenses are all indexicals. This idea is formally encoded as a de se analysis of attitudes, originally proposed by Lewis, coupled with a sequence-of-tense rule posited for English. An auxiliary proposal is made to account for some exceptional cases (e.g. so-called double-access sentences), which invokes de re attitudes about temporal entities (states or intervals). Since the proposed account assumes that the interpretation of tense is structure-dependent, it also correctly predicts scope interactions between tenses and NPs. Tense, Attitudes, and Scope is intended for scholars and graduate students in formal semantics, syntax-semantics interface, philosophy of language and Japanese linguistics.