[Lingtyp] Workshop at the 52th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 21st – 24th August 2019, Leipzig
eugen.hill at uni-koeln.de
eugen.hill at uni-koeln.de
Thu Sep 27 06:02:46 EDT 2018
below is a Call for Papers for the Workshop 'Towards a diachronic
typology of future tenses' designed for the 52th Annual Meeting of
the Societas Linguistica Europaea, 21st – 24th August 2019, in
If you are interested in participating with a talk, please send us
possibly soon but not later than November 15th a provisional title and
an abstract (up to 300 words) at the following address:
eugen.hill at uni-koeln.de.
The workshop convenors
<<TOWARDS A DIACHRONIC TYPOLOGY OF FUTURE TENSES
Convenors: Elżbieta Adamczyk1, Martin Becker2, Eugen Hill2, and Björn Wiemer3
(1 Bergische Universität Wuppertal, 2 Universität zu Köln, 3 Johannes
Gutenberg Universität Mainz)
Key words: future tense, modality, aspect, grammaticalisation, hypoanalysis
Workshop description: Unlike present and past tenses, future tenses
exhibit a typologically robust tendency towards encoding modality.
Accordingly, in the typological literature the future has been
described both in temporal and modal terms (e.g. Comrie 1985, Dahl
1985, 2000b, Palmer 2001, among others). This might be ultimately
rooted in the fact that the notion of future time is inherently linked
to uncertainty given the fact that the current reality may develop in
several ways. In a similar vein, future time reference is known to
frequently interact with aspect and with aspectual properties of verbs
and constructions (cf. Dickey 2000 for different Slavic languages).
Accordingly, for instance Copley (2009) describes the encoding of
future in terms of a hierarchical interplay between two operators, a
modal and an aspectual one.
However, these features inherent to future time reference from a most
general point of view do not by themselves explain the considerable
variation we observe regarding modality and aspectuality in future
grams (henceforth “futures”) of different languages. We assume that
this variation can be better understood from a data-oriented
semasiological perspective, which implies taking into account the
diachronic dimension of futures. This amounts to finding answers to
the following questions:
• What diachronic factors may be responsible for the observed
variation in modal and aspectual values of futures? How to disentangle
or isolate such factors in a particular case?
• What are the possible correlations between these factors and the
different kinds of modal and aspectual meanings in futures?
• Which patterns of interaction between the different factors are
actually attested in natural languages? How to search for and/or
establish typologically recurrent patterns of interaction?
• What are the possible trajectories of modality and aspectuality in
the development of futures? How to search for and/or establish
typologically recurrent trajectories?
At present, three different factors potentially relevant to modality
and aspectuality in futures may count as securely established. The
first factor is the different sources of future grams. Numerous
languages possess futures known to have only recently evolved out of
forms or constructions with non-future semantics (cf. Ultan 1978,
Bybee & Pagliuca 1987, Bybee & Dahl 1989, Bybee, Pagliuca & Perkins
1991, Dahl 2000a, Heine & Kuteva 2002, Wiemer & Hansen 2012). The most
prominent sources, recurrently documented as generating futures in
languages of different genetic and areal affiliations, are (a)
tense-aspect forms (cf. the perfective future in North Slavic), (b)
deontic (incl. volitional) modal expressions (cf. the shall- and
will-futures in English, Balkan languages), (c) constructions with
verbs of movement (cf. the komma-future in Swedish and the
aller-future in French), (d) constructions with inchoative copula
verbs (cf. the werden-Future in German or the imperfective future in
North Slavic). Less robustly attested are futures succeeding
constructions with verbs such as say (in central eastern Bantu, cf.
Botne 1998) or take (in Ukrainian, cf. Wiemer 2011: 745), futures
evolved out of temporal adverbs (in Lingala, cf. Bybee, Pagliuca &
Perkins 1991: 18–19) or, finally, futures reflecting an agent noun
with copula verb (in Sanskrit, cf. Tichy 1992, Lowe 2017).
Differences in the semantics of the source constructions may be
relevant in two similar but distinct ways, both of which are commonly
subsumed under the notion of “source determination” (cf. Bybee,
Perkins & Pagliuca 1994: 9, Hilpert 2008: 22–27, Reinöhl & Himmelmann
2017: 391–399). First, in futures evolved out of a modal source
remnants of modal use may always be expected. Accordingly, futures
with similar modal sources are likely to exhibit similar inherited
modal readings (such as volition in want-futures) while futures
resulting from a different source construction are less so. Second,
futures with a similar source may be expected to develop similarly.
For instance, futures evolved out of modals encoding obligation
display a tendency towards developing epistemic semantic extensions
whereas encoding epistemic modality is not typically associated with
come- or go-futures (cf. Hilpert 2008: 184).
The second factor may be the different mechanisms of future tense
development. Here we may distinguish two mechanisms. The first
mechanism is the grammaticalisation of an inherited content word,
which might be a verb (turned into an auxiliary or semantically weak
component of a serial verb construction) or an adverb with temporal
semantics (cf. Bybee & Pagliuca & Perkins 1991, Bybee, Perkins &
Pagliuca 1994, Heine & Kuteva 2002). The second possible mechanism of
future evolvement is the more direct functional shift, i.e.
“hypoanalysis” from a non-future to a future (cf. Bybee, Perkins &
Pagliuca 1994: 232–236, Haspelmath 1998, Reinöhl & Himmelmann 2016:
It is known that futures which emerged by hypoanalysis often allow for
gnomic and habitual readings, although in purely semantic terms these
two meanings are difficult to link to future time reference (cf.
Haspelmath 1998: 31–33). A functional shift from a present tense or a
subjunctive mood to a future is usually triggered by the development
of a new present tense or a new subjunctive mood, which restricts the
domain of the inherited formations to formerly marginal uses such as
prediction, generalised truths, and habitual actions. By contrast,
gnomic or habitual readings are not attested for many subtypes of
grammaticalisation futures, such as come-, go- or take-futures,
although their sources are equally capable of expressing generalised
truths or repeated actions.
Finally, the third factor potentially responsible for modal and
aspectual readings in futures is the different behaviour of future
tenses in the relevant language systems. It is known that the same
language system may accommodate several functionally distinct futures,
which may have emerged at different times and due to different
mechanisms. In such a situation, it is natural to expect complex
patterns of interaction between different future tenses which, in
theory, might be responsible for different modal and aspectual
flavours in futures (cf. Hedin 2000, Markopoulos 2009, Markopoulos et
al. 2017 on Greek).
The workshop invites papers addressing the research questions stated
above. Especially welcome would be contributions aimed at
• identifying new factors potentially relevant to emerging and
subsequent development of modality and aspectuality in futures,
• describing patterns of interaction between these factors,
• identifying recurrent patterns of interaction and establishing
correlations with different kinds of modality and aspectuality.
Contributions contrasting findings from languages spoken in Europe
with those from less-investigated and typologically divergent language
areas will be appreciated.
Botne, Robert. 1998. The evolution of future tenses from serial ‘say’
constructions in Central Eastern Bantu. Diachronica 15. 207–230.
Bybee, Joan L. & Dahl, Östen. 1989. The creation of tense and aspect
systems in the languages of the world. Studies in Language 13. 51–103.
Bybee, Joan L., William Pagliuca & Revere D. Perkins. 1991. Back to
the future. In Traugott, Elizabeth C. & Heine, Bernd (eds.),
Approaches to Grammaticalization, vol. II (Focus on Types of
Grammatical Markers), 17–58. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Bybee, Joan L., Revere D. Perkins D. & William Pagliuca. 1994. The
Evolution of Grammar. Tense, aspect, and modality in the languages of
the world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Comrie, Bernard. 1985. Tense. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Copley, Bridget. 2009. The semantics of the Future. New York: Routledge.
Dahl, Östen. 1985. Tense and Aspect Systems. Oxford: Blackwell.
Dahl, Östen. 2000a. The grammar of future time reference in European
languages. In Dahl, Östen (ed.), Tense and Aspect in the Languages of
Europe, 309–328. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Dahl, Östen. 2000b. Verbs of becoming as future copulas. In Dahl,
Östen (ed.), Tense and Aspect in the Languages of Europe, 351–361.
Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Dickey, Stephen M. 2000. Parameters of Slavic aspect: A cognitive
approach. Stanford (CA): Center for the Study of Language and
Haspelmath, Martin. 1998. The semantic development of old presents:
New futures and subjunctives without grammaticalization. Diachronica
Hedin, Eva. 2000. Future marking in conditional and temporal clauses
in Greek. In Dahl, Östen (ed.), Tense and Aspect in the Languages of
Europe, 329–349. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Heine, Bernd & Kuteva, Tania. 2002. World Lexicon of
Grammaticalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hilpert, Martin. 2008. Germanic Future Constructions. A usage-based
approach to language change. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Lowe, John J. 2017. The Sanskrit (pseudo)periphrastic future.
Transactions of the Philological Society 115. 263–294.
Markopoulos, Theodore. 2009. The Future in Greek. From ancient to
medieval. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Markopoulos, Theodore, Allan, Rutger & Lambert, Frédéric. 2017. The
Greek Future and its History. Le futur grec et son histoire.
Bibliothèque des Cahiers de Linguistique de Louvain (BCLL), 139.
Palmer, Frank. 2001. Mood and Modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Reinöhl, Uta & Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 2017. Renewal: A figure of
speech or a process sui generis? Language 93. 381–413.
Tichy, Eva. 1992. Wozu braucht das Altindische ein periphrastisches
Futur? Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 142.
Ultan, Russell. 1978. The nature of future tenses. In Greenberg,
Joseph H. & Ferguson, Charles A. & Moravcsik, Edith (eds.), Universals
of Human Language, vol. 3 Word Structure, 83–123. Stanford: Stanford
Wiemer, Björn. 2011. Grammaticalization in Slavic languages. In
Narrog, Heiko & Heine, Bernd (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of
Grammaticalization, 740–753. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wiemer, Björn & Hansen, Björn. 2012. Assessing the range of
contact-induced grammaticalization in Slavonic. In Wiemer, Björn,
Wälchli, Bernhard & Hansen, Björn (eds.), Grammatical Replication and
Borrowability in Language Contact, 67155. Berlin, New York: Mouton de
Prof. Dr. Eugen Hill
Institut für Linguistik
Universität zu Köln
Tel: +(49) 221 470 - 2282
Fax: +(49) 221 470 - 5947
More information about the Lingtyp