A cross-linguistic investigation of the combinational possibilities of the ‘for X time’ adverbial with different aspectual verb classes
The paper observes that the Vendler classification is not sufficient as a classification of verbs, since it cannot explain why some telic verbs, such as change of state (COS) verbs and degree achievements (DAs) appear with the durational adverbial (d-adverbial) ‘for X time’ in Greek, in English and in German, while some atelics like semelfactives appear with the frame adverbial (f-adverbial) se X ora (‘in X time’) in Greek. In the spirit of Iatridou et al. (2003) it is proposed that the d-adverbial ‘for X time’ tests not only for (a)telicity but also for (im)perfectivity. It also argues that the two d-adverbials in Greek ja X ora and epi X ora (‘for X time’) are to be found with different grammatical (viewpoint) aspect: the former with perfective aspect and the latter with imperfective aspect. This is due to the fact that the ja X ora gives not only durative temporal information but also a lexical aspectual one, while the epi X ora gives only a durative temporal.
Keywords: (a)telicity, English/German/Greek, (im)perfectivity, d-adverbials in Greek ja X ora and epi X ora (‘for X time’)
Published online: 29 October 2012