Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 595–635

Durative Achievements and Individual-Level Predicates on Events

  • Kate Kearns
Article

Abstract

Ryle (1949, Chapter V) discusses a range of predicates which in different ways exemplify a property I shall call quasi-duality – they appear to report two actions or events in one predicate. Quasi-duality is the key property of predicates Ryle classed as achievements. Ryle's criteria for classification were not temporal or aspectual, and Vendler's subsequent adoption of the term achievement for the aktionsart of momentary events changes the term – Rylean achievements and Vendlerian achievements are in principle different classes. Nevertheless, I shall argue in this paper that certain kinds of quasi-duality do have aspectual significance.

This paper examines a number of quasi-dual predicates which are not generally discussed in the aktionsart literature, includingbreak a promise, miscount, and cure the patient. Two types of quasi-dual predicates are identified and dubbed criterion predicates and causative upshot predicates. It is shown that both types of quasi-dual predicate lack process progressives, despite being durative, and it is argued that the lack of process progressives identifies these predicates as (aspectual) achievements. They are termed durative achievements to distinguish them from canonical, momentary achievements.

It is argued that these predicates lack process progressives, and hence are achievements, because they express individual-level predicates on the event argument. A process progressive is stage-level for the event, and hence is incompatible with a predicate which is lexically individual-level for the event.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Asher, Nicholas: 1992, ‘A Default, Truth Conditional Semantics for the Progressive’, Linguistics and Philosophy 15, 463–508.Google Scholar
  2. Austin, J. L.: 1962/1975, in J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisa (eds.), How to Do Things with Words, 2nd edn, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  3. Bennett, Jonathan: 1994, ‘The “Namely” Analysis of the “By”-Locution’, Linguistics and Philosophy 17, 29–51.Google Scholar
  4. Bennett, M. and B. H. Partee: 1978, ‘Towards the Logic of Tense and Aspect in English’, Indiana University Linguistics Club.Google Scholar
  5. Bonomi, Andrea: 1997, ‘The Progressive and the Structure of Events’, Journal of Semantics 14, 173–205.Google Scholar
  6. Brentano, Franz: 1973, Psychology from an Empirical Point of View, translated by Antos C. Rancurello, D. B. Terrell, and Linda L. McAlister from Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt (1874, 1924), Sections V–IX.Google Scholar
  7. Buyssens, E.: 1968, Les Deux Aspectifs de la Conjugaison Anglaise au XXe Siècle, Presses Universitaire de Bruxelles, Brussels.Google Scholar
  8. Carlson, Gregory N.: 1977, Reference to Kinds in English, PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.Google Scholar
  9. Carlson, Gregory and Francis Pelletier (eds.): 1995, The Generic Book, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.Google Scholar
  10. Chomsky, Noam: 1975, ‘Questions of Form and Interpretation’, Linguistic Analysis 1, 75–109.Google Scholar
  11. Dowty, David: 1977, ‘Toward a Semantic Analysis of Verb Aspect and the English “Imperfective” Progressive’, Linguistics and Philosophy 1, 45–77.Google Scholar
  12. Eckardt, Regine: 1998, Adverbs, Events, and Other Things, Niemeyer, Tübingen.Google Scholar
  13. Jespersen, Otto: 1932, A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles, George Allen and Unwin, London.Google Scholar
  14. Kearns, Kate: 1988, ‘Light Verbs in English’, manuscript, MIT.Google Scholar
  15. Kearns, Kate: 1998, ‘Extraction from Make the Claim Constructions’, Journal of Linguistics 34, 53–72.Google Scholar
  16. Kenny, Anthony: 1963, Action, Emotion and Will, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar
  17. König, Ekkehard: 1980, ‘On the Context-Dependence of the Progressive in English’, in Christian Rohrer (ed.), Time, Tense and Quantifiers: Proceedings of the Stuttgart Conference on the Logic of Tense and Quantification, pp. 269–291, Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tuebingen.Google Scholar
  18. Kratzer, Angelika: 1988/1995, in Gregory Carlson and Francis Pelletier (eds.), Stage-Level and Individual-Level Predicates, pp. 125–175.Google Scholar
  19. Krifka, Manfred, Francis Jeffrey Pelletier, Gregory C. Carlson, Alice ter Meulen, Godehard Link, and Gennaro Chierchia: 1995, ‘Genericity: An Introduction’, in Gregory Carlson and Francis Pelletier (eds.), pp. 1–124.Google Scholar
  20. Kuroda, S.-Y.: 1972, ‘The Categorical and the Thetic Judgment’, Foundations of Language 9, 153–185.Google Scholar
  21. Kuroda, S.-Y.: 1992, Japanese Syntax and Semantics, Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  22. Ladusaw, William: 1994, ‘Thetic and Categorical, Stage and Individual, Weak and Strong’, in Mandy Harvey and Lynn Santelmann (eds.), Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory IV (SALT IV), pp. 220–229, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
  23. Lascarides, Alex: 1991, ‘The Progressive and the Imperfective Paradox’, Synthese 87, 401–447.Google Scholar
  24. Milsark, G.: 1977, ‘Toward an Explanation of Certain Peculiarities in the Existential Construction in English’, Linguistic Analysis 3, 1–30.Google Scholar
  25. Mittwoch, Anita: 1988, ‘Aspects of English Aspect: On the Interaction of Perfect, Progressive and Durational Phrases’, Linguistics and Philosophy 11, 203–254.Google Scholar
  26. Mittwoch, Anita: 1991, ‘In Defence of Vendler's Achievements’, Belgian Journal of Linguistics 6, 71–85.Google Scholar
  27. Mittwoch, Anita: 1998, ‘Cognate Objects as Reflections of Davidsonian Event Arguments,’ in Susan Rothstein (ed.), Events and Grammar, pp. 309–332, Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  28. Moens, Marc: 1987/2001, Tense, Aspect and Temporal Reference, Ph.D. dissertation, Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh, revised text.Google Scholar
  29. Moltmann, Frederike: 1991, ‘Measure Adverbials’, Linguistics and Philosophy 14, 629–660.Google Scholar
  30. Parsons, Terence: 1990, Events in the Semantics of English, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  31. Piñòn, Christopher: 1997, ‘Achievements in an Event Semantics’, in Aaron Lawson (ed.), Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory VII (SALT VII), pp. 276–293, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar
  32. Piñòn, Christopher: 1999, ‘Durative Adverbials for Result States’, in S. Bird, A. Carnie, J, Haugen, and P. Norquest (eds.), WCCFL 18 Proceedings, pp. 420–433, Cascadilla Press, Somerville, MA.Google Scholar
  33. Portner, Paul: 1998, ‘The Progressive in Modal Semantics’, Language 74, 760–787.Google Scholar
  34. Ramchand, Gillian: 1997, Aspect and Predication, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  35. Ryle, Gilbert: 1949/1963, The Concept of Mind, Penguin/Peregrine Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex.Google Scholar
  36. Taylor, Barry: 1977, ‘Tense and Continuity’, Linguistics and Philosophy 1, 199–220.Google Scholar
  37. Vendler, Zeno: 1967, Linguistics in Philosophy, Cornell University Press, Ithaca.Google Scholar
  38. Zucchi, Sandro and Michael White: 1996, ‘Twigs, Sequences and the Temporal Constitution of Predicates’, in Teresa Galloway and Justin Spence (eds.), Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory VI (SALT VI), pp. 329–346, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Kearns
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Private BagUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand E-mail

Personalised recommendations