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The Syntax of AspectDeriving Thematic and Aspectual Interpretation$
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Nomi Erteschik-Shir and Tova Rapoport

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280445

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280445.001.0001

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Change-of-State Verbs: Implications for Theories of Argument Projection

Change-of-State Verbs: Implications for Theories of Argument Projection

(p.274) 13 Change-of-State Verbs: Implications for Theories of Argument Projection
The Syntax of Aspect



Oxford University Press

Verbs showing multiple argument projection options, often with concomitant shifts in aspectual classification or assignment of the ‘aspectual’ roles measure or incremental theme, are ubiquitous. Their pervasiveness has given rise to two hypotheses concerning argument realization: argument expression is not lexically determined and only aspectual notions determine argument expression. This chapter argues against both hypotheses through an examination of change of state verbs. It shows that the argument expression possibilities of these verbs are determined by a nonaspectual, lexicalized property – change of state – and cannot be handled by purely aspectual nonlexical theories of argument projection. Therefore, the meaning that is lexicalized in a verb determines its grammatical and interpretive properties to a large degree, contrary to the hypothesis that argument expression is not lexically determined. Furthermore, these lexical properties do not correspond to well-known aspectual notions, contrary to the hypothesis that only aspectual notions are relevant to argument expression.

Keywords:   aspectual classes, telicity, change of state, verb, incremental theme, direct object

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