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Tense, Aspect, and Indexicality$
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James Higginbotham

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239313.001.0001

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(p.116) 7 Accomplishments
Tense, Aspect, and Indexicality

James Higginbotham (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews some arguments that accomplishments are syntactically represented by ordered pairs of positions for events, and that the ‘accomplishment’ interpretation of a predicate may stem from the complex thematic structure <E,E'> of a preposition, a syntactic adjunct, rather than from the head verb. The structures <E,E'> are telic pairs; and it is argued that the formation of telic pairs is a compositional, rather than a lexical, process. This thesis is applied to a number of constructions, yielding the basis for a family of distinctions between English- (or Chinese-) type languages on the one hand, and Romance (or Korean or Japanese) on the other.

Keywords:   telic pairs, ordered pairs, predicate, thematic structure

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