Lightning talk: I've Done it Yesterday: The Present Perfect and Past Temporal Adverbs

Evidence from American, British and Australian Acceptability Judgements

The Present Perfect is often considered a "puzzle" (Klein 1992; Skala 2018). Funded by "Freunde der Uni", my MA thesis adds the newest piece to what is already a multicolored picture. The piece of interest is that the Present Perfect can license a definite past temporal adverb.

(1) I've done it yesterday!

This licensing contravenes grammatical norms (Klein 1992; Kortmann 1991) and scholars have been less than generous, judging that the cooccurrence is "looked on as a mistake" (Gachelin 1990: 225) or an "afterthought" (Quirk et al 1985: 195). However, a growing body of
work on Australian English (Ritz 2010), British English (Walker 2017) and American English (Skala 2018) suggests the Present Perfect is grammaticalizing: how quickly and how much needs to be established.

I am in the process of data collection and will analyze 100 online acceptability judgements by American, British, and Australian native speakers regarding such cooccurrences. I have identified five environments to be tested. Two are relative clauses (reference identifying and justification patterns); the others: the position of the adverbial clause (fronted or canonical); whether the adverb is
recent or remote in time; and as a narrative tense.

Numerous corpus- and introspection-based studies have been written on this phenomenon (Klein 1992; Ritz 2010). This is the first of regarding acceptability judgments. Too often one reads that "something is happening to the present perfect" (Trudgill 1978:13); too little is this supported by quantitively-driven science.


Day: 2020-11-21
Start time: 18:20
Duration: 00:10
Room: Agathe Lasch
Track: Typology and Variational Linguistics
Language: en



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