A Nonmanual Marking the Perfect Tenses in ASL Donovan Grose Purdue University The current analysis argues that the Tense system in ASL expresses the Perfect Tenses, as well as the absolute Tenses. The absolute Tenses are expressed through manual Tense markers identified by Neidle et al (2000). The Perfect Tenses, indicating an event occurring before a reference time, are marked by a single downward movement of the head, glossed here HN. Previous analyses claimed that this same nonmanual was an optional marker of conditionals (Liddell (1986), and a marker of closed events (Nowell 1988). The current study accounts for the function of the HN as a Perfect Tense marker, within a Reichenbachian Tense system. This approach argues that all finite clauses encode for three temporal points. These temporal points are: the time of utterance (S), understood has either Speech or Sign time, the reference time (R), and the event time (E). These three points generate two relationships, one between S and R time (S/R) and another between R and E time (R/E). These points may be simultaneous, as S and R are in the Present Tense, or they may be ordered sequentially. In the Perfect Tenses, E occurs before R (E_R), regardless of the relationship (S/R). This allows for Perfect Tenses in the Past, Present and Future. In the syntax, these two Tense relationships require two Tense phrases (T1 and T2). T1 encodes for (S/R). (R/E) is encoded by T2, sometimes referred to as a Perfective Aspect Phrase. These Tense phrases are located within a basic event structure modified from that proposed by Tenny (2000). In this structure, each Tense phrase dominates a functional phrase associated with outer and inner Aspect respectively (F1 and F2). These Aspect phrases in turn dominate two verb phrases (V1 and V2), required to account for event structure. The resulting structure (1) is built up from the semantic scope requirements of the elements it contains. (1) [T1[F1[V1[T2[F2[V2]]]]]] In clauses with Broad Focus, the HN occurs over a verb or Aspectual sign (2). In clauses with Narrow Focus, the HN may occur in clause final position over the focused element (3). (2) HN ENTER SCHOOL. Enter -PT school ‘ I started school.’ (3) HN I READ BOOK FINISH 1sg read book finish-PT ‘I finished reading the book.’ The HN also occurs in clause final position in the subordinate clauses of bi-clausal sentences. The Sequence of Tense analysis (Hornstein 1990) accounts for the temporal relationships between the events in these structures. The occurrence of the HN is predictable based on these temporal relationships. In hypothetical conditionals (4), the matrix, or ‘if’ clause, serves as the R-time for the event in the subordinate clause, producing the relationship E before R between the events in the two clauses, represented (E_R). Generalization conditionals do not have this relationship and do not occur with the HN. (4) t br HN Aff-hn++ PICNIC IF RAIN CANCEL Picnic if rain-PT cancel ‘If it rains, the picnic will be cancelled.’ A similar analysis applies to sentences expressing sequenced and simultaneous events (so-called 'when-statements'). I also argue that the status of events as open or closed is accounted for within the Tense system. When R and E are simultaneous (R,E) the event is open. When E occurs before R (E_R), the event is closed, and is marked with a HN. If R occurs before E (R_E), the event is irrealis, distinct from either open or closed events. The current analysis is consistent with previous analyses of FINISH as a marker of the Perfective Aspect. 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