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Structuring Events : A Study in the Semantics of Lexical Aspect - Susan Rothstein

Structuring Events

A Study in the Semantics of Lexical Aspect

Paperback Published: 26th January 2004
ISBN: 9781405106689
Number Of Pages: 220

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  • Hardcover View Product Published: 28th November 2003

Structuring Events presents a novel semantic theory of lexical aspect for anyone interested in the study of verb meanings.

  • Provides an introduction to aspectual classes and aspectual distinctions.
  • Utilizes case studies to present a novel semantic theory of lexical aspect and compare it with alternative theories.
  • Useful for students and scholars in semantics and syntax as well as the neighboring fields of pragmatics and philosophy of language.

Industry Reviews

"This is the most important book on lexical aspect since David Dowty's seminal Word Meaning and Montague Grammar." Angelika Kratzer, University of Massachusetts?Amherst

"As well as providing a clear introduction to the subject, this excellent book extends our knowledge of the lexical aspectual properties of verbs and verb phrases in new and original directions. Rothstein's careful exploitation of the flexibility of event-based semantics in providing a solid foundation for the interpretation of verbal aspect establishes the theory as central to any explanation of this often difficult ? but ever fascinating ? topic." Ronnie Cann, University of Edinburgh

"This outstanding book represents a new breakthrough in the general theory of lexical aspect. The discussions of the previous research are distinguished by clarity as well as new challenges and insights. In a highly engaging way Rothstein also advances new solutions to some of the most thorny issues ? including aspectual shifts, progressive achievements, and resultative predication ? which will shape the future research in lexical aspect." Hana Filip, Stanford University

"Rothstein?s book contains many observations, deep intuitions and exciting analyses which will doubtless be very influential in a variety of areas. Empirically, the book contains a treasure trove of interesting data that will no doubt be mulled over for years to come." Lingua


1. Verb Classes and Aspectual Classification:.


Aspectual Classes of Verbs.

The four aspectual classes.

Testing for temporal constitution.


Can verbs, as opposed to VPs be aspectually categorized?.

2. Progressive Achievements:.


Progressive achievements and the imperfective paradox.

Achievements are not accomplishments.

Temporal Modification.

Progressive achievements are different from progressive accomplishments.

Deriving Progressive Achievements.


3. Resultative Predication:.


The syntax of secondary predication ? a fast review.

The semantic interpretation of secondary predication.

Secondary predication as a summing operation.

Semantic constraints on the secondary predication operation.

The semantic interpretation of depictive predication.

Object-oriented depictive predication.

Subject oriented secondary predication.

The semantics of resultatives.

The interpretation of simple resultatives.

The direct object restriction.

Non-accomplishment resultatives.

Type shifting in non-accomplishment resultatives.

The rest of the questions.

Dethematicised resultatives.

Why do resultatives not occur with achievements or states?.

Fake reflexives.

Subject-oriented resultatives.

Conclusions and the next set of questions.

4. The Structure of Accomplishments:.

Incremental Themes and the notion of 'extent'.


'Measuring out' and incrementality.

Krifka's theory of quantization.

A Theory of Accomplishments.

What Are Incremental Themes?.


Incremental processes and incremental relations.

Answering Some Questions about Accomplishments.

Aspectual ambiguity with wipe and read.

The incremental role of the incremental theme.

Kennedy and Levin: Telicity in terms of degree measurements.

5. The Interpretation of Derived Accomplishments:.

Aspectual Shift in Resultatives.

Transitive Accomplishments.

Intransitive resultatives.

Why do resultatives have a 'result' meaning?.

PPs as paths and PPs as results.

Aspectual Shift in Progressive Achievements.

The structure of the shift operation.

The content of the activity and BECOME events.

6. Quantization, Telicity and Change:.


Krifka's theory of quantization.

Telicity and Change.

7. Telicity and Atomicity:.

Telicity and atomicity.

Events have their denotation in the count domain.

Homogeneity and S-cumulativity in the domain of individuals.

Defining sets of atoms.

Atomic structure in the domain of events.

Atomicty and BECOME events.

A note on degree predicates.

For a time and in a time.

8. Event Structure and Aspectual Classification:.

What are semelfactives?.

Why does S-cumulativity characterise states and activities?.

Why do we have the lexical aspectual classes that we do?.

The general picture: lexical aspect and the structure of the domain of events.



ISBN: 9781405106689
ISBN-10: 1405106689
Series: Explorations in Semantics
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 220
Published: 26th January 2004
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 252.33 x 179.0  x 12.03
Weight (kg): 0.39
Edition Number: 1

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