It has been known for quite a while that some languages present nominal affixes that fulfill the task of specifying the temporal reference of the noun to which they attach. By this means one can designate an individual, i.e. a husband, as either dead or divorced if a “retrospective” morpheme is used, or else as a future bridegroom if a “prospective” morpheme is added. Analogous affixes may express modal values by qualifying the phrase meaning either from the epistemic point of view (relative to the degree of certainty of the assertion), or from the evidential point of view (relative to the source of the information). Much rarer, but nevertheless observable, is the presence of aspectual morphology on nouns, in order to convey, e.g., the notion of habituality.
The lectures aim at providing a thorough documentation on this salient grammatical feature, to be found in typologically very diverse languages. This will also offer the opportunity to discuss relevant topics of formal semantics.
Bibliographical references will be introduced and discussed in the class.
No specific prerequisites are required. The notions will be introduced gradually and keeping into account the degree of previous knowledge of the individual student.