Jozina Vander Klok: The existential past tense, and not the experiential perfect, in Javanese and Atayal.
Joint work with Sihwei Chen, Lisa Matthewson, & Hotze Rullmann.
We argue that temporal operators with a salient experiential interpretation, while typically associated with a reading of the perfect, are not necessarily perfects. Drawing from data on the functional morphemes tau in Javanese and -in- in Atayal (Austronesian), which both have dominant experiential readings, we provide evidence that they cannot be analyzed as a perfect or more broadly, any kind of aspect. Instead, these morphemes are best analyzed as existential relative past tenses. We show how tau and -in- contrast with non-quantificational past tenses (pronominal tense; Partee 1973) and how they contrast with perfects as a relative tense, supporting Bohnemeyer (2014). More broadly, what are considered 'experientials' in a given language are not all perfects