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Particle verbs in English: Telicity or scalarity?

Milada Walková
From the journal Linguistics

Abstract

Aspectual properties of English particles still lack a satisfactory account, as neither the standard (Brinton 1985, Verb particles in English: Aspect or aktionsart? Studia Linguistica 39(2). 157–168. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9582.1985.tb00750.x (accessed 30 January 2015)) nor a more recent (Cappelle and Chauvin 2010, Interprétations aspectuelles des verbes à particule en anglais: Téliques, comparatifs, résultatifs. In Pascale Hadermann, Olga Inkova, Michel Pierrard & Dan Van Raemdonck (eds.), Approches de la scalarité, 249–281. Geneve: Droz) account can be generalized over all aspectual particles. By analyzing aspect in terms of scalarity this paper argues that particles are either scalar or non-scalar, which leads to their different aspectual and syntactic behavior. Scalar particles are marked for scalarity; they can affect the argument structure of the verb root and enforce telicity. In contrast, non-scalar particles are unmarked for scalarity; they do not affect the argument structure and do not enforce telicity. Both scalar and non-scalar particles systematically appear in atelic and telic sentences, depending on the verb root and its arguments. Scalarity, like telicity, is a feature built compositionally and monotonically.

Acknowledgements

The research presented in this paper was carried out during my stay at the University of Groningen. I would like to thank Angeliek van Hout, Jack Hoeksema, two anonymous reviewers of this journal and three anonymous reviewers of another journal for their comments and suggestions on previous versions of this paper. All remaining errors are mine.

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Published Online: 2017-3-11
Published in Print: 2017-5-24

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