Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 285–324

The lexical semantics of derived statives

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10988-011-9082-9

Cite this article as:
Koontz-Garboden, A. Linguist and Philos (2010) 33: 285. doi:10.1007/s10988-011-9082-9


This paper investigates the semantics of derived statives, deverbal adjectives that fail to entail there to have been a preceding (temporal) event of the kind named by the verb they are derived from, e.g. darkened in a darkened portion of skin. Building on Gawron’s (The lexical semantics of extent verbs, San Diego State University, ms, 2009) recent observations regarding the semantics of extent uses of change of state verbs (e.g., Kim’s skin darkens between the knee and the calf) and Kennedy and Levin’s (Measure of change: The adjectival core of degree achievements, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) theory of change, it is shown, contrary to previous analyses, that a fully compositional semantic analysis is possible, and thus that there is no argument from derived statives for word formation differing from semantic composition above the word level in requiring deletion operations, as in Dubinsky and Simango’s (Passive and stative in Chichewa, Language 72:749–781, 1996) analysis. Further, such an analysis, by contrast with previous ones, both compositional (Jackson in Resultatives, derived statives, and lexical semantic structure, Doctoral dissertation, UCLA, 2005b; Condoravdi and Deo in Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Linguists (CIL 18), Seoul, 2008) and non-compositional (Dubinsky and Simango 1996), correctly predicts, as shown by a range of arguments, that the meaning of the derived stative contains the meaning of the verb it is derived from and that it therefore contrasts fundamentally with morphologically simple adjectives in the kind of meaning that it has.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and English LanguageThe University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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