Events and Aspectual Verb-Types: Activities, Accomplishments, Achievements, States, and Series

  • Alice F. Freed
Part of the Synthese Language Library book series (SLAP, volume 8)


It has been amply demonstrated that a comprehensive description of aspectualizers requires an analysis of the complement structures with which they occur. A determination of the aspectual nature of these complement sentences and verbs constitutes an important part of such an analysis. Viewing events as consisting of various temporal parts, as well as being distinguishable into several different types, provides us with a means by which we may classify event-naming verbal expressions into different aspectual types. That is, different classes of verbs can be distinguished according to the type of event named by the members of that particular class.


Verbal Expression Single Occurrence Temporal Segment Uniform Event Complement Structure 
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.


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  1. 1.
    I agree with Dowty’s (1972, p. 35) comments about these terms. He says: “Achievement is an unfortunate choice of mnemonic term, since achieve turns out to be an accomplishment, not an achievement verb. That they both begin with the sequence ac doesn’t help much either. Nevertheless, these terms have been retained since linguists are likely to be familiar with them from Vendler’s book.”Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Actually, Dowty (1977, p. 49) revises his earlier (1972) view of achievements and notes that some achievements do occur in the progressive. However, he still considers this occurrence to be rare.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice F. Freed
    • 1
  1. 1.Montclair State CollegeMontclairUSA

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