Aspect, Backward Event-Sequencing and Event Granularity in When-Sentences

入江 牧子(The University of Texas at Austin 大学院生)

This is a descriptive study of WHEN sentences in English and Japanese. When in English and toki-ni ”when” in Japanese, collectively referred to as WHEN, invoke certain temporal orderings between events described in the clauses they connect, namely forward and backward sequencing interpretations. As Sandström (1993) points out, the temporal orderings are affected by aspectual properties of the WHEN clause verb. We show this claim to be true in the said two languages, with distinct tense systems. We argue, however, that Sandstrom’s claim undergenerates in some cases. In both languages, not only aspectual features, but inferences on event granularity on the WHEN clause verb plays a role in determining temporal relations between events in a WHEN sentence.