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LINGUIST List 24.2749

Mon Jul 08 2013

Diss: English, Slovak, Semantics: Walková: 'The Aspectual Function of Particles in Phrasal Verbs'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

Date: 08-Jul-2013
From: Milada Walková <mwalkovayahoo.com>
Subject: The Aspectual Function of Particles in Phrasal Verbs
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Institution: University of Groningen
Program: Center for Language and Cognition
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2013

Author: Milada Walková

Dissertation Title: The Aspectual Function of Particles in Phrasal Verbs

Dissertation URL: http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/faculties/arts/2013/m.walkova/

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
                            Slovak (slk)

Dissertation Director:
Jack Hoeksema
Angeliek Van Hout
Stanislav Kavka

Dissertation Abstract:

The dissertation discusses the aspectual function of particles in English
phrasal verbs. Aspectual particles have been standardly treated as
telicity-marking, yet such an approach fails to cover English particles
exhaustively. Therefore the dissertation aims to answer the following
question: Do English particles truly mark telicity? Drawing on corpus data
and acceptability judgements of native speakers of English, I argue that
particles are not primarily markers of telicity. Instead, I analyze their
aspect in the framework of scalarity. A scale is an ordering of values of a
particular attribute, e.g. temperature in to warm. I argue that there are
two types of particles – non-scalar and scalar, depending on the kind of
change denoted in the phrasal verb. The two types of particles differ in
effects on argument structure and ability to mark telicity. Unlike
non-scalar particles, scalar particles refer to a change along a scale.
Nevertheless, they do not introduce a scale but specify a scale denoted in
the predicate. One such possible specification is telicity marking, i.e.
marking a boundary on a scale. Telicity marking, however, is a mere
additional effect of scalar particles referring to a volume/extent type of
scale. Another possible way for particles to specify a scale is to
determine the direction of a property type of scale. The dissertation also
shows that the proposed theory of English aspectual particles can be
applied cross-linguistically, as illustrated with Slovak prefixes.

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