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Telicity, Change, and StateA Cross-Categorial View of Event Structure$
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Violeta Demonte and Louise McNally

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693498.001.0001

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2 2 Lexical aspect and multiple incremental themes

2 2 Lexical aspect and multiple incremental themes

(p.23) 2 Lexical aspect and multiple incremental themes
Telicity, Change, and State

John Beavers

Oxford University Press

Aspectual properties of dynamic predicates such as telicity and durativity are often assumed to be partly determined by the expression of some privileged argument of the predicate called an ‘incremental theme’ where the progress of the event described by the predicate is measured by parts of the incremental theme. The chapter provides evidence that many if not all dynamic predicates actually have at least two incremental themes, namely some theme that undergoes the change described by the predicate and some scale that measures the change the theme undergoes, which stand in a mutually constraining relationship to the event. This chapter proposes a ternary Figure/Path Relation by which events are measured by the progress of subparts of the theme changing along subparts of the scale sharing a common goal. This analysis makes a number of key, novel predictions about the aspectual properties of dynamic predicates, and more accurately captures their truth-conditional content.

Keywords:   lexical aspect, telicity, durativity, incremental theme, scales, change-of-state, homomorphism

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