LINGUIST List 10.1172

Fri Aug 6 1999

Books: Semantics

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. CSLI Publications, ASPECTUAL ISSUES, Henk Verkuyl

Message 1: ASPECTUAL ISSUES, Henk Verkuyl

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 16:18:36 -0700
From: CSLI Publications <>
Subject: ASPECTUAL ISSUES, Henk Verkuyl

Verkuyl, Henk (Utrecht University); ASPECTUAL ISSUES; ISBN: 157586200X
(paper), 1575861992 (cloth); 258 pp. CSLI Publications 1999: email:

How does atemporal quantity as expressed by isolated noun phrases,
like four tables, some sandwiches, many books, get into time structure
as expressed in sentences containing dynamic verbs like lift, eat and
read? Does She lifted four tables mean 'all four tables at once', or
'one by one', or does it allow other configurations? Which principle
governs the choice between a 3x4 (twelve tables lifted)- and a 1x4
(four tables lifted)-interpretation of Three girls lifted four tables?
These questions follow from the study of the very complex construal of
time structure on the basis of quantity information expressed in noun
phrases and of information contributed by verbs.

This collection is a follow-up to Verkuyl's well-known 1993 volume, A
Theory of Aspectuality, explaining and simplifying the exposition of
his 1993 theory. The papers collected here also explore the
consequences of this theory for a number of areas. In particular,
Verkuyl addresses issues in the following areas: habituality; the role
of aspectualizers marking the beginning, middle or end of events; the
interaction between tense and aspectuality; the role of temporal Path
structure in distributive and collective quantification; and the
differences and correspondences in the ways in which Slavic, Germanic
and Romance languages express aspectuality. Several papers contain a
critical analysis of Davidson's event semantics. Verkuyl's critique
suggests that neo-Davidsonians either use the wrong tools for a proper
analysis of aspectuality, or that they need to adopt some of the
crucial assumptions of his theory - in particular, the asymmetry
inherent to aspectual construal and his consequent plea to take
numbers, rather than events, as the primitives structuring our concept
of time.

This volume presents one of the most prominent aspectual theories,
offering a unified approach to the study of quantification and time

CSLI Publications
Ventura Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4115
Telephone (650) 723-1839
Fax (650) 725-2166
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