The past, the future, and what is real

3:00 pm
Room 202, Department of Linguistics, University of Delhi
2nd Floor, Arts Faculty Extension Building, Delhi - 110 007


In this talk, Professor Giannakidou, Department of Linguistics, University of Chicago, will consider the apparent temporal contrast between future and past. Evidence will be provided that the future contains epistemic modal components, and she will treat future expressions such as will and its Greek counterpart tha as epistemic modals. Future sentences will be claimed to be subjective and nonveridical, i.e. they do not refer to facts, but rather to assessments of individuals about facts, which can vary in the degree of certainty that the speaker has. The past, on the other hand, is veridical and refers to facts. The contrast will allow us to understand properties of future morphemes, as well as how language encodes the speakers’ understanding of truth and reality.

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