The Interpretation of Tense and Aspect in Argument Small Clauses in English
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In this paper the interelation between tense and lexical aspect (aktionsart) in argument small clauses (SCs) is studied from a minimalist point of view. I will claim that Asp(ect) and T(ense) are present in the derivation of SCs. Any predicate is given a particular aspectual feature in the Lexicon, which may be [-/+ perfective], according to whether it expresses a state of affairs or a change of state respectively. Different temporal readings can be found in SCs, which depends crucially on the matrix verb’s aspectual selection of the SC predicate. In minimalist terms, I will assert that T is aspectually neutral, but it may be perfectivised or imperfectivised depending on the feature sheltered under Asp. I propose that Asp moves to adjoin to T before Spell-Out, making it perfective or imperfective. In the domain of the complex category [Asp T] the SC predicate checks its aspectual feature at LF.