I'm looking for a decent reference text on either Reicehnbach's or, more ideally, Klein's work on the formal semantics of tense with regards to topic time, event time, etc.

Klein's initial text on the matter is quite expensive.

2 Answers 2


Here are some resources that could be of use.

  • “Aspect vs. relative tense: the case reopened”, by Jürgen Bohnemeyer. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. 2014.

“Klein (1994) points out that within the treatment of the temporal semantics of English that he proposes, there is no need to maintain the traditional distinction between perfect aspect and anterior tense.”

”The combination of the three temporal points with the two ordering relations results in thirteen major constellations. These have the status of tenses in Reichenbach’s framework.”

  • This is a “LibreText” hosted by UC Davis discussing Klein, Reichenbach, and tense. Accessed 2023.

“Reichenbach defined tense categories in terms of three cardinal points in time: speech time (S), the time of the utterance; event time (E), the time of the event or situation which is being described; and reference time (R).”

Here are some large reference works which discuss those topics

Tense, Aspect, and Mood. Handbook of Cognitive Linguisitcs. De Gruyter. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110292022-031/html

Analyzing meaning: An introduction to semantics and pragmatics by Paul Kroeger. https://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/359

Events, arguments, and aspects: topics in the semantics of verbs edited by Klaus Robering. https://philpapers.org/rec/ROBEAA-7

Here are some works on tense and aspect which cite Reichenbach and/or Klein:

The Domain of Tense by Carlota S. Smith https://philpapers.org/rec/SMITDO-3

Constructing Aspect: Syntactic Reflections on Aspectual Distinctions by Jacqueline Guéron and Bridget Copley https://journals.openedition.org/rlv/2230?lang=en

  • [major reference works that discuss these topics]
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 15:15

Klein's 2009 text "How time is encoded" is freely available:


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