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The Syntactic Nature of Inner Aspect

A minimalist perspective

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Abstract

This book explores the syntactic nature of inner aspect from a minimalist perspective. It begins with the new observation that there are two independent properties at play in English inner aspect: the object-to-event mapping and event structure. From a discussion of English statives and Russian, it is concluded that the former property is variant and the latter universal; a minimalist conception of language variation arises naturally in this context. Additionally, an exploration of a lexical derivational approach to achievements leads to the expectation that there are no accomplishments in the lexicon. A detailed look at idioms suggests that this expectation is met. These results support the division of labor between an operative lexicon and narrow syntax in aspectual composition; this naturally poses a problem for (neo-)constructional approaches to inner aspect. Finally, one conclusion reached about the syntactic nature of inner aspect regards the object-to-event mapping: it is a purely syntactic phenomenon.

Subjects: Generative linguistics; Semantics; Theoretical linguistics; Syntax

  • Affiliations: 1: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

References

http://jbenjamins.metastore.ingenta.com/content/books/9789027289865
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