Durative achievements and individual-level predicates on events
Ryle (1949, Chapter V) discusses a range of predicates which in different ways exemplify a property I shall call quasi-duality – they appear to report two actions or events in one predicate. Although Ryle's concerns were not temporal or aspectual, his discussion is recognized as a seminal contribution to the development of theories of aktionsart. In particular, his term achievement is adopted by Vendler for the class of momentary events. This paper examines a number of quasi-dual predicates which are not generally discussed in the aktionsart literature, including break a promise, miscount, and cure the patient. Two types of quasi-dual predicates are identified and dubbed criterion predicates and causative upshot predicates. It is shown that both types of quasidual predicate lack process progressives, despite being durative, and it is argued that the lack of process progressives identifies these predicates as (aspectual) achievements. They are termed durative achievements to distinguish them from canonical, momentary achievements. It is argued that a criterion predicate has the aspect of an achievement because it expresses an individual-level property predication on the event argument, and this is incompatible with a process progressive, which is stage-level for the event. Causative upshot predicates are argued to be lexically non-distributive, in contrast to accomplishments, which they otherwise resemble.
SubjectsFields of Research::380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences::380200 Linguistics::380205 Language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)
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