Edited by Francisco José Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez
[Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 4] 2006
► pp. 97–133
The construal of simultaneity in English with special reference to as-clauses
This paper investigates how simultaneity between two events, a main clause event and a subordinate clause event, is coded in English. It focuses on as-clauses but also contrasts them with while-clauses. It argues that as-clauses evoke path events, i.e. events susceptible to change. It also points out that as-clauses define a family resemblance network in that different, though related, variants can be recognised. While-clauses are argued to generally evoke larger and more stable temporal configurations, e.g. properties. The different behaviour of as-clauses and while-clauses is related to the different lexical status of as vs. while. The former is analysed as a subordinator unspecified for temporality whereas the latter is regarded as a temporal subordinator by default. Finally, the use of progressive aspect is discussed. It is argued to function as a “slow motion” marker in as-clauses and/or to signal a contrast between the temporal expanses of the main and as-clauses. By contrast, it takes on a transience-highlighting function in while-clauses.
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