'I Wrote This Article In The Space Of A Week'

Abstract : In grammar textbooks, temporal uses of in are often presented as stylistic variants of for in negative contexts (She hasn’t called for/in weeks). Yet upon closer examination the complexity of its distribution appears to deserve further attention. For instance, how can the ambiguity of I’ll do my homework in 10 minutes ( 10 minutes from now or inside 10 minutes) be explained? Or why is I’ve seen him in 10 years impossible whereas I’ve seen him once in 10 years is well formed? This article seeks to demonstrate that the time interval defined by in shares topological properties with both for and since, which accounts for overlapping distributional contexts. Like since ( and unlike for), the interval is delimited by two disjoint boundaries that allow the localisation of negative or discrete processes ; like for ( and unlike since) in is non-deictic so that its interval is not necessarily bounded by the situation of origin. Besides, unlike for and since, in conveys no temporal orientation and is thus compatible in phrases like in recent years where for would be impossible.
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Lionel Dufaye. 'I Wrote This Article In The Space Of A Week' . Faits de Langues - Les Cahiers, Paris : Ophrys, 2009, Espace-Temps Anglais. ⟨hal-01444410⟩

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