The role of verbal prefixes and particles in aspectual composition
In this paper we provide an analysis of the function of Polish verbal prefixes and German verbal particles in aspectual composition of incremental theme predicates (ITP) such as eat and drink. Incremental theme verbs (e.g. eat, drink) are well known for the fact that the referential properties of the incremental theme arguments (ITA) affect the telicity of the whole predication. In the Slavic languages, only prefixed incremental theme verbs result in a telic predication. Since in many cases prefixed verbs are perfective, it is often assumed that telicity results from perfectivity. We argue that grammatical aspect is not necessary for achieving a telic ITP, since there are perfective ITPs that do not result in a telic predication. Rather (a)telicity is dependent on the semantic content of the verbal prefix.
Published online: 29 April 2016
Bennett, M. & B. Partee
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