The semantics of degree verbs and the telicity issue

Eugenio Civardi, Pier Marco Bertinetto

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aspect; Aktionsart; degree achievements; degree verbs; tense


This paper addresses the formal representation of Degree Verbs (DVs), also known as degree
achievements. After assessing the similarities and differences of DVs vis-à-vis the accomplishment
predicates within the set of “incremental theme verbs”, a double scale system is proposed to account for the telicity calculus. It is shown that DVs should be regarded as telic even though in most cases ,they do not imply culmination, but rather the mere attainment of a “contingent” telos. This formalism can be exploited to account for related phenomena, such as the so-called “conative oblique constructions” and “non-culminating” telic predicates


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Copyright (c) 2015 Eugenio Civardi, Pier Marco Bertinetto

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