pin: aspectual composition with degrees


With the title 'aspectual composition with degrees' I allude to an aspectual approach in which the notion of the degree of realization of an event type plays a central role. In this paper, I have proposed how such an approach might look in the context of an event semantics, applying it in greater detail to verbs with an incremental theme and in lesser detail to degree achievements. In a nutshell, it is an attempt to take seriously the idea that such verbs are gradable. The present account differs from Krifka's in that the latter lacks degrees altogether and as a result can express the notion of partial realization in only a roundabout way at best. Somewhat ironically, although the present account shares a degree-based spirit with Kennedy and Levin's approach, it mischievously recasts their degrees as extents, hence it also ends up having degrees where the latter lacks them. Even so, the main contrast with Kennedy and Levin's approach is undoubtedly that the present account makes the degree functions underlying the semantics of verbs with an incremental theme and degree achievements sensitive to the description of the internal argument as well, whereas the latter lacks this feature.


In Adjectives and Adverbs: Syntax, Semantics, and Discourse, Louise McNally and Christopher Kennedy (eds.), pp. 183–219. Oxford University Press, 2008.


Paper, prepublication version, 22 Aug. 2007.

pin: aspectual composition with degrees
last updated on 20 may 2013
christopher pin