Temporaliteit en modaliteit | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5845
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1171


This article reviews Binary Tense theory as developed by Verkuyl (2008) on the basis of three oppositions proposed by Te Winkel (1866): present—past, synchronous—posterior and imperfect—perfect. Verkuyl followed Te Winkel in assuming that the verb zullen (‘will’) can be used as a temporal auxiliary expressing posteriority, but here it will be argued that zullen should be considered a purely modal verb and thus does not contribute to the temporal meaning of the clause. The notion of posteriority is, in fact, an integral part of the meaning of past and present, and can be brought to the fore by the use of temporal adverbs like morgen ‘tomorrow’ or by pragmatic considerations. The article discusses several proposals in the Dutch linguistic literature in which the modal nature of zullen is recognized, but they fail to be convincing in the absence of a crucial innovation: the rejection of the point of speech n as the present in favor of assuming a present tense domain in which n is a moving point that splits the actualized part of the present from its non-actualized (modal) part.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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