Temporal interpretation in Iquito

I-wen LAI
(Graduate Student, Univ. of Texas at Austin)

This paper provides an account of temporal interpretation in Iquito, a highly endangered Zaparoan language spoken in Northern Peruvian Amazon by approximately 25 speakers. Following Smith (2005), this paper presents an under-documented Amazonian language with characteristics of both tensed and tenseless languages. In Iquito, although tense is obligatory and provides basic temporal information, in sentences marked with Extended Current Tense (conveyed by -Ø), the more precise temporal location is pragmatically inferred from the morphosyntactic composition of aspect and mood. This study adds another dimension to the close connections among tense, mood, and aspect, and contributes to linguistic documentation of Iquito and Amazonian languages, and to research on cross-linguistic variation of temporal semantics.