‘Hot News’ and perfect change: mirativity and the semantics/pragmatics interface

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Abstract

This paper proposes an analysis of the hot news present perfect (PP) building on Nishiyama and Koenig’s (2010) analysis of the perfect as denoting a perfect state introduced by a variable that needs to be pragmatically enriched. Pragmatic meaning is analysed extending Rett and Murray’s (2013) representation of mirative meaning as the target state of a learning event, which I take to be the speaker’s reaction of surprise more generally. The analysis is considered in the light of non-canonical uses of the PP in Australian English narratives and police media reports. I argue that hot news usage is at the basis of such extensions and propose representations for uses in sequences of clauses expressing temporal progression and in clauses containing a definite past time adverbial. The paper concludes by discussing the present analysis in the light of previous research and its implication to our understanding of the grammaticalization of perfects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)135-155
Number of pages20
JournalCatalan Journal of Linguistics
Volume17
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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