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Auteur: Fátima OLIVEIRA

Co-Auteur(s): António LEAL, Universidade do Porto, Portugal

On the Iterative Reading of 'Pretérito Perfeito Composto' in European Portuguese

Abstract/Résumé: In European Portuguese (EP), ‘Pretérito Perfeito Composto do Indicativo’ (PPC) is a tense similar in form but not in its semantics to analogous tenses, namely in other romance languages and English. The most relevant feature of PPC is its iterative reading. In (1), the contrast between the first three examples and the forth one shows that the latter is ungrammatical due to the impossibility of a single event reading in this context, as this tense favours the iteration of situations. (1)J’ai mangé la pomme/He comido la manzana/I have eaten the apple/*Tenho comido a maçã We intend to identify the conditions under which this iterative reading arises and to present a formal account grounded on temporal, aspectual and quantificational features exhibited by PPC. In fact, the rise of the iterative reading depends on the temporal perspective point, which must be the utterance time, and on the basic aspectual class of the predication, exhibiting a contrast between events and some types of states. See (2). (2) a. O rapaz tem visitado o irmão The boy has been visiting his brother b.*O rapaz tem sido inglês The boy has been English Thus, taking as starting point the works of Van Geenhoven (2004) on pluractionals and Laca (2006), we propose that there is an operator underling the PPC in EP that projects a basic eventuality into a collective eventuality of the same nature. Furthermore the structure of this collective eventuality is built on the iteration of the basic eventuality. This proposal departs from others concerning the description of the PPC in that the collective eventuality created by this tense is not a mere pluralisation of situations, but an entity ontologically superior. This approach, based on the idea that PPC behaves like a silent frequency operator on sets of events, allows explaining why certain I-level predicates cannot occur with this tense (see (2b)). Moreover, it also clarifies some restrictions on counting sub-events as in (3). (3) a.*Tenho visto três bons jogadores de futebol I-have seen three good football players b.*Tenho atravessado a ponte três vezes I-have crossed the bridge three times In fact, with PPC, it is not possible to count sub-events that form the collective event by counting the entities denoted by the expression in direct object position or by temporal adjuncts that occur in the scope of the relevant predication. References Laca, B. 2006. Indefinites, quantifiers and pluractionals. What scope effects tell us about event pluralities. In: S. Vogeleer; L. Tasmowski (eds.). Non-definiteness and plurality. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins, 191-217. Van Geenhoven, V. 2004. For-adverbials, frequentative aspect, and pluractionality. Natural Language Semantics, 12,135-190.