Interaction of Telicity and Degree Gradation in Change of State Verbs

  • Jens FleischhauerEmail author
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 93)


The paper discusses the degree gradation of verbs in German by the adverb sehr (very, very much). The main focus of the paper is on the gradation of change of state verbs and the interaction of degree gradation and telicity. It is argued that the gradability of telic change of state verbs supports the distinction between a standard and a maximum telos based on the analysis of Kearns 2007. A maximum telos is identical to a maximal scale value, while a standard telos marks a non-maximal degree. The general assumption is that a telos can be analyzed as a specified standard value. To maintain the analysis, additional data from Russian and French are provided which show that the gradability of change of state verbs depends on the kind of telos of the respective verb.


State Verb Maximal Scale Comparative Result State Substance Emission Homomorphic Mapping 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research for this paper was supported by the German Science Foundation (DGF) grant FOR 600, Research Unit “Functional Concepts and Frames.” I would like to thank Adrian Czardybon, Thomas Gamerschlag, Wilhelm Geuder, Sebastian Löbner, Stefanie Schulze, the participants of the “Workshop on the Subatomic Semantics of Event Predicates” in Barcelona and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and Aurélien Jarry, Anja Latrouite, Nikolaj Skorolupov, Pavel Sirotkin and Anselm Terhalle for their help with the French and Russian data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General Linguistics, Institute of Language and InformationHeinrich-Heine Universität DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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