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Proceedings of the Edinburgh Linguistics Department Conference '94 pp. 126--135 On the influences of noun phrases in the
 

Summary: Proceedings of the Edinburgh Linguistics Department Conference '94 pp. 126--135
On the influences of noun phrases in the
determination of the sentence aspectual class
Diego Moll'a­Aliod
diego@ling.ed.ac.uk
1 Introduction
The noun phrases in a sentence play an important role in the determination of the sentence
aspectual class. This can be clearly seen in the telicity/atelicity distinction. A telic sentence is
one in which the event expressed is considered as having a specific end beyond which the event
is over (Comrie 1976:p44), as in the sentence ``John ran a mile.'' As opposed to this, an atelic
sentence does not specify an end to the event, as in ``John ran.'' In these two examples we
already see that the use of an NP may determine one or the other meaning. If we change the
type of NP the aspectual properties of the whole sentence may be affected, as can be seen from
the difference between ``John drank beer'' and ``John drank a pint of beer,'' where the first
sentence is atelic whereas the second one is telic. However, the NP does not always influence
the sentence aspect: in the sentence ``the donkey pushed the cart for hours,'' the NP in object
position ``the cart'' plays no role in the determination of the final aspect, which in this case is
an atelic process. 1
It has been argued that NPs modify the sentence aspect by means of the thematic relations
which link the NPs with the verb. Following Krifka (Krifka 1989), I will structure events and

  

Source: Aliod, Diego Mollá - Department of Computing, Macquarie University

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences