Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department or School/College
Irene Appelbaum, Tully Thibeau
causative state, Prospective aspect, resultant state, target state, types of perfect
University of Montana
The focus of this thesis is the feature of current relevance as it is expressed by the English present perfect and the present be going to construction. I propose that be going to expresses the current relevance of a future situation in the same way that the present perfect expresses the current relevance of a past situation. Based on this shared feature of current relevance, I propose that the be going to construction is prospective aspect, the future equivalent of the present perfect. While literature on the English be going to construction has discussed the notion of current relevance as part of the meaning of be going to (Joos 1964, Haegeman 1989, Perez 1990, Brisard 2001, Bergs 2010), this feature of the be going to construction has rarely, if ever, been the subject of direct examination. This research aims to fill a gap in the semantic literature on tense and aspect by providing an in-depth analysis of the be going to construction. The proposal of this thesis has several implications for the field of linguistics. Cross-linguistically, temporal constructions containing the verb to go have been set aside in the literature on tense and aspect. Temporal to go constructions have also been the topic of disagreement in the field of tense and aspect (Fleischman 1982). This thesis specifically examines the English be going to construction where it has been set aside by others. This research also provides evidence that the various meanings that have been attributed to the English present be going to construction can all be accounted for by the notion of current relevance. In this thesis I propose that the be going to construction is prospective aspect, the mirror image of the present perfect. English is usually not considered to have a prospective aspect (Comrie 1976, Klein 1994); this thesis shows that it does. By providing evidence that the be going to construction is prospective aspect, this thesis also supports the claim that English has no true future tense (Jespersen 1924, Enï¿½ 1996).
Schroeder, Sara E., "A Case for 'be going to' as Prospective Aspect" (2011). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 21.
© Copyright 2011 Sara E. Schroeder