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Adjectives and Event Structure

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This chapter investigates the relationship between adjectives and event structure by looking at properties of deverbal adjectives and deadjectival verbs. Although simple adjectives are not eventive, they nevertheless play an important role in matters of event structure, both in the way that they influence the eventive properties of verbs that they are derivationally related to, and in the way that an understanding of the scalar properties of adjectival meaning informs theorizing about eventive meanings. Although often considered in isolation, we show that adjectival gradability and verbal aspect are intimately related scalar phenomena. The structural properties of an adjectival scale determine the aspectual class of a derived event predicate. Similarly, the aspectual structure of a verb phrase constrains the scale structure of an adjectival participle. Our discussion focuses primarily on degree-based approaches to these phenomena, but we also consider alternative approaches based in a more articulated ontology for states.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of event structure
EditorsRobert Truswell
Place of publicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication yearMar 2019
Pages368-392
Chapter14
ISBN (print)978-0-19-968531-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

    Research areas

  • Semantics, Lexical semantics, Lexical categories, Event structure

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