States in the decomposition of verbal predicates: evidence from additive operators
Giorgos Spathas, Dimitris Michelioudakis
December 2020
 

This paper proposes a new diagnostic for the detection of stative sub-events in the decomposition of verbal predicates. The diagnostic is based on a certain type of presupposition triggered by additive operators like Greek ke ‘also’, which we call Stative Presuppositions. It is argued that the generation of such Stative Presuppositions requires the existence of a syntactically accessible constituent that denotes a predicate of states that additive operators can take scope over. We investigate the distribution of Stative Presuppositions and observe that not all verbs that support inferences to a result state give rise to them. Based on this distribution we argue for a non-uniform analysis of result verbs; whereas some verbs require an event-decompositional analysis, others are better captured by scalar- and incrementality-based analyses. We cast our analysis in the framework of Distributed Morphology and propose to explain non-uniformity based on how different types of verbal roots interact with verbal functional material. Moreover, treating roots as the locus of encyclopedic information explains lexical variation in the generation of Stative Presuppositions within sub-classes of result verbs. We strengthen our conclusions by considering and rejecting alternative syntactic and semantic mechanisms for generating Stative Presuppositions. We conclude that the generation of Stative Presuppositions by additive operators is currently the most reliable diagnostic for the detection of syntactically accessible result states in verbal decomposition.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005380
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory
keywords: verbal semantics, result state, event structure, inner aspect, additive operators, lexical decomposition, change of state, incrementality, degree achievement, semantics, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v2 [October 2020]
v1 [August 2020]
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