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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Ana Arregui

Subject Categories

Semantics and Pragmatics


This dissertation is concerned with the role of tense in bringing about the semantic and pragmatic differences in conditionals. Investigating the contribution
of tense and aspect in Farsi conditionals, this dissertation expands the typology of
temporal morphology in antecedents of conditionals.
First, I make a novel observation that Farsi morphologically distinguishes between hypothetical and factual conditionals. Conditionals with zero tense in their
antecedent require the truth of their antecedent to be unsettled in the context, and
they yield hypothetical interpretation. Conditionals with present tense in their
antecedent require the truth of their antecedent to be settled in the projected context
set, and they yield factual interpretation.
Second, I explore the pattern of Farsi X-marked conditionals (a.k.a., subjunctive or counterfactual conditionals). Like English and many other languages, the
antecedent of X-marked conditionals in Farsi appears with past tense morphology. two properties in which X-marked conditionals in Farsi and English (two
languages with the same X-marking strategy) vary: (i) the temporal orientation
of antecedents, and (ii) the strength of antecedent falsity.

After discussing the challenges such cross-linguistic variations raise for for mapping the form of X-marked conditionals to the meaning they contribute, I present a uniform past approach that can derive the interpretation of X-marked conditionals from the contribution of past tense to determining the domain of quantification (following the Stalnakerian insight), while keeping a unified semantics for past tense morphology.