Article published in:Tense and Aspect: The contextual processing of semantic indeterminacy
Edited by Svetlana Vogeleer, Walter De Mulder and Ilse Depraetere
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 12] 1998
► pp. 77–102
Aspects Of (Un)Boundedness
Abstract Resultative predicates have the aspectual effect of telicizing an atelic activity verb. The function of the postverbal constituent in accomplishments has been taken to be one of providing an end point to the activity, or of a constituent that "measures out" the event denoted by the activity verb. In either case, it delimits the event by providing it with boundaries. Looking at resultative predicates, we observe that they are subject to the requirement that they denote a bounded scale. This requirement is argued to be empirically superior to an alternative restriction stating that the resultative must be a stage-level predicate. The boundedness requirement furthermore provides direct evidence against an approach that treats the resultative as an end point, and supports the claim that it is an event measure. One piece of evidence concerns the 'make + NP+Adjective' construction, in which the adjective denotes the final stage or end point in a change of state, exactly as in the resultative construction. In contrast to the resultative, however, the adjective can be unbounded, as it is not an event measure in this case. We argue that the boundedness requirement on resultative predicates follows directly from treating it as an event measure, since a measure must be bounded as a matter of conceptual necessity.
Published online: 01 January 1999
Cited by other publications
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