Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 21, 2008

Imperfect dreams: The temporal dependencies of fictional predicates

Alessandra Giorgi and Fabio Pianesi
From the journal


In this paper we discuss the properties of the fictional context created by the verb dream, focusing on Italian data. The relevance of these contexts is twofold: on the one hand, they exhibit very consistent behaviour across Romance languages with respect to mood selection, in that they always select the indicative in their complement clause, rejecting the subjunctive. On the other hand, their interpretive properties change according to the tense used: when containing a subordinate imperfect indicative tense, dream reports have the property that the dreamed eventuality need not be temporally anchored; at the same time, they do not seem to ascribe any specific attitude to the subject (the dreamer). When containing a non-imperfect indicative tense, temporal anchoring is available, and a particular evidential meaning can be detected, revealing the presence of a speaker-oriented attitude towards the content of the dream. The connection between temporal anchoring and the presence/absence of a propositional attitude will be investigated: semantically, within an extensional, truth-theoretical framework by arguing in favour of a reflexive/tensed-thoughts approach to propositional attitudes; and in its morphosyntactic aspects, by motivating a conception according to which the interaction between the temporal features of T and the features of C provide the interface conditions for the interpretive facts to arise.

Published Online: 2008-02-21
Published in Print: 2001-03-16

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