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Title: The spatio-temporal structure of narrative texts : a study of aspect
Author: Rigler, Elina
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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The aim of this thesis is to investigate the spatio-temporal structure of narratives. The emphasis is on the study of Finnish locative constructions with aspectual meaning. A distinction is drawn between semantic and discourse anaphora: 'semantic' anaphors are semantically incomplete spatio-temporal expressions, which have to be interpreted with respect to a spatio-temporal antecedent; 'discourse anaphora' refers to the intersentential relations (e.g. precedence or succession) between spatio-temporally complete expressions. Throughout the thesis, an attempt is made to separate semantics and pragmatics: the emphasis is on the interaction of predicate class, sentence aspect and the aspectual perspective of sentences in discourse. Space and time are assumed to be two distinct, though interrelated, dimensions; therefore, spatial and temporal anaphora are distinguished. Spatial relations are considered to be more basic than temporal ones; and furthermore, the notion of 'spatial location' is assumed to include not only abstract categories relating to mental and physical states, but also abstract linguistic categories, such as telic processes and absolute states. It is the interaction of these abstract and concrete relations that is claimed to have special relevance to the spatio-temporal interpretation of narratives. The theory is presented within a localist framework; it is assumed that the basic semantic relations are spatial in nature, and can be described in terms of location and movement. The most important theoretical notion is that of 'motion event', represented by MOVE- and BE-predicates. MOVE-sentences are spatio-temporally autonomous, and can be used to move the narrative forward, while BE-sentences are (spatio-)temporally nonautonomous (anaphoric), and are used to refer to events which are interpreted as overlapping a spatio-temporal entity specified by an autonomous clause. It is argued that in the analysis of the spatio-temporal structure of narratives, other semantic notions, including causality, are secondary to the notion of spatio-temporal location.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available