From temporal to concessive meanings: a semantic analysis of 'still'

Authors

  • Aynat Rubinstein
  • Elena Herburger

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3765/yc66yy33

Abstract

We develop a new proposal about the historical connection between the durative and concessive readings of English still and Hebrew ʕadain, a connection that shows striking parallels in the two languages. Building on a corpus study of Hebrew (Rubinstein forthcoming), we argue that durative 'still' precedes the concessive 'still' and that the latter first arises in bridging contexts (and earlier than previously thought). In contrast to previous literature, our proposal places the temporal-to-concessive development squarely in the semantics. We argue that concessive 'still' emerges when an originally durative 'still' gets "infected" with a concessive meaning that is expressed explicitly in the rest of the sentence.

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Published

2024-01-19

Issue

Section

Articles