Nontelic change of state verbs.

Abstract : In this paper we argue that natural language allows for the possibility of talking about change of state via verbs which are in fact aspectually stative. Our argument is based on an analysis of Spanish reflexive psychological verbs such as agobiarse `be overwhelmed' and asustarse `to become frightened'. Although a number of diagnostics clearly support the claim that these verbs are neither telic nor even dynamic, we also show that they have special temporal properties which distinguish them from other stative verbs and which perhaps have obscured the fact that they are stative. We account for these properties by associating these verbs with two special felicity conditions, one that applies to the entire class of verbs, and another that applies to a subset of them which have previously been characterized as "punctual". Finally, we compare our analysis with analyses in terms of a BECOME operator (Dowty 1979, von Stechow 1996), showing why such analyses are inadequate for the verbs in question.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 15, 2008 - 10:45:14 AM
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Rafael Marin. Nontelic change of state verbs.. Cuadernos de Linguistica del I.U.I., 2008, 15, pp. 91-115. ⟨halshs-00347212⟩

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