[Lingtyp] Theme session call: The lexicon in aspectuality

Wiemer, Bjoern wiemerb at uni-mainz.de
Tue Oct 30 22:09:55 UTC 2018

If I may briefly add a word of relief: at last this has been clearly asked and stated -- I firmly second Martin's concern for this type of clarity.
	By the way, a similar problem is apparent for "modality". Does it refer to modal meanings (e.g. of auxilaries like "can, must, ought to", or of independent infinitives in Russian), or does it relate to mood? It often does both, in an often not clearly articulated way. Moreover, "modality" is sometimes declared a grammatical category. This sounds strange if it is to refer just to modal _meanings_ and their classification.

Björn (Wiemer).

-----Original Message-----
From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> On Behalf Of Martin Haspelmath
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 9:58 PM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Theme session call: The lexicon in aspectuality

Thanks, Peter, for these additions! I had heard about Tatevosov's important book, so thanks for the link! (Maybe Tatevosov could be encouraged to write a 30-page summary in English?)

I'd like to make another remark: The term "actionality" seems much better suited than "aspectuality", because one clearly needs to distinguish at least two different levels, and the terms "actionality/actional" and "aspect/aspectual" have the advantage that they come with both a noun and a corresponding adjective. If one says "aspectuality", one does not know how to form an adjective from this ("aspectualitarian"?).

The description of the workshop actually uses the term "actionality", but it's unclear how this relates to the term "aspectuality" in the workshop title (or maybe the latter is meant as a cover term for aspect and actionality? if so, we still need an adjective for it...)


On 30.10.18 21:42, Peter Arkadiev wrote:
> Dear Johanna and dear colleagues,
> I cannot help pointing out that the bibliography of Johanna's call for papers misses the highly relevant work by Sergey Tatevosov (including his seminal article "The parameter of actionality" in LT 2002, https://doi.org/10.1515/lity.2003.003), which in view of many people, including your humble servant, cannot and should not be neglected in any theoretical or typological discussion of actionality and aspect. In particular, Tatevosov's work is the first and arguably the only one to offer a non-aprioristic empirical procedure of determining the actional behaviour of predicates in any language - the set of appropriate "comparative concepts", if you like. Sergey has recently published a whole book (http://www.rfbr.ru/rffi/ru/books/o_1945605) on the issue, where he addresses further cross-linguistic issues not touched upon in his 2002 article. The book is in Russian, but for many of us this is not a problem, and anyway, everyone interested in aspect and actionality is kindly invited to read the 2002 paper.
> I hope that advertising one's colleagues' work is just as good tone on 
> this list as advertising one's own ;-)
> Best regards,
> Peter
> --
> Peter Arkadiev, PhD
> Institute of Slavic Studies
> Russian Academy of Sciences
> Leninsky prospekt 32-A 119991 Moscow
> peterarkadiev at yandex.ru
> http://inslav.ru/people/arkadev-petr-mihaylovich-peter-arkadiev
> 30.10.2018, 22:05, "Johanna NICHOLS" <johanna at berkeley.edu>:
>> We invite preliminary submissions for a theme session:
>> A cross-linguistic perspective on the role of the lexicon in 
>> aspectuality ALT 13, Pavia (September 2019)
>> Organizers:
>>                 Thera Crane (University of Helsinki)
>>                 Johanna Nichols (University of California, Berkeley)
>>                 Bastian Persohn (University of Hamburg)
>>              A number of different theoretical accounts lay out a 
>> small set of actional classes together with a set of verbal 
>> lexicosemantic properties that determine them. Among the most 
>> influential is Vendler’s (1957) typology and modifications thereof 
>> (e.g. Smith 1997, Croft 2012). Vendler’s original classification included states (e.g.
>> ‘love’), activities (e.g. ‘run’), accomplishments (e.g. ‘eat an 
>> apple’, ‘run a mile’) and achievements (e.g. ‘reach the summit’, 
>> ‘arrive’); to these, Smith added the category of semelfactive (verbs 
>> like ‘cough’ and ‘kick’).
>>              Subsequent work, however, has shown that each of these 
>> proposals lacks sufficient detail to satisfactorily categorize the 
>> linguistic instantiation of states-of-affairs in many languages (see 
>> e.g. Bar-el 2015 and references therein). Needed now are 
>> descriptively-based cross-linguistic studies proposing and testing 
>> typologies that identify more categories and apply more broadly.
>>               Actionality(also known as lexical aspect, verb aspect, 
>> situation type, aktionsart, aspect2, and other terms) arises through 
>> the interaction of a lexical verb's meaning and aspectual potential 
>> and its possible argument configurations and their bounding potential 
>> (Sasse 2002). We understand actionality as the configuration of 
>> constituent phases and boundaries that make up a state of affairs 
>> (Binnick 1991). The contribution of lexical items to aspectual 
>> interpretations is a primary component in understanding how 
>> states-of-affairs are conceptualized in human language. Nonetheless, 
>> there has been almost no lexically-based or wordlist-based 
>> cross-linguistic work in this area.
>>              There are studies identifying actionality phenomena that 
>> might profitably be pursued cross-linguistically. For instance, 
>> current work on the Bantu language family suggests complex 
>> lexicalization patterns, in which a single lexeme encodes a 
>> coming-to-be phase (e.g. ʻbecoming angryʼ), the ensuing state change, 
>> as well as the resultant state (ʻbeing angryʼ) (Botne & Kershner 
>> 2000, Kershner 2002, among many others; for an overview see Crane & 
>> Persohn, in prep.). Another remarkable phenomenon, reported mostly 
>> for (but not limited to) languages of Asia and the Americas, is 
>> non-culminating readings of Vendlerian accomplishments (as in ‘S/he 
>> read the book but did not finish it' (sic!)); see Martin et al. 2016 for an overview.
>> Theoretical work generally treats states as basic and state changes 
>> as derived (e.g. Van Valin 2006 for predicate semantics; 
>> Koontz-Garboden for derivation), but Nichols 2015 and ongoing work 
>> finds that many languages treat change of state as basic.
>> The goals of the theme session are therefore as follows:
>> · to bring together empirical evidence on actional categories from a 
>> broad spectrum of languages · to discuss new proposals for typologies 
>> of lexicosemantic and actionality classes · to shed light on 
>> ʻunexpected’ readings or construals, such as the non-culmination of 
>> accomplishments, and on the semantic factors that favour these · to 
>> work towards developing best documentary practices for descriptive 
>> accuracy and typological comparison – if, in fact, actional 
>> categories can be made comparable across languages
>>              We will consider publication of the papers as a special 
>> journal issue or an edited volume.
>> Please indicate your interest in participating, together with a 
>> preliminary title. If the theme session proposal is accepted by the 
>> ALT Program Committee, your abstract will have to be submitted in 
>> early 2019 (we will send reminders and guidelines).
>> Deadline for statements of interest: November 12, 2018 (Monday)
>> Contact: persohn.linguistics at gmail.com, thera.crane at helsinki.fi, 
>> johanna at berkeley.edu
>>                              (please send your E-mail to all three 
>> addresses)
>> Bar-el, Leora. 2015. Documenting and identifying aspectual classes 
>> across languages. In Bochnak & Matthewson (eds.) Methodologies in 
>> semantic fieldwork, 75–109. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
>> Bickel, Balthasar. 1997. Aspectual scope and the difference between 
>> logical and semantic representation. Lingua 102.115-131.
>> Binnick, Robert I. 1991. Time and the verb: a guide to tense and 
>> aspect. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
>> Botne, Robert & Tiffany L. Kershner. 2000. Time, tense and the 
>> perfect in Zulu. Afrika und Übersee 83. 161–180.
>> Crane, Thera Marie & Bastian Persohn. n.d. What’s in a Bantu verb?
>> Manuscript available on request.
>> Croft, William. 2012. Verbs: Aspect and causal structure. Oxford:
>> Oxford University Press.
>> Kershner, Tiffany L. 2002. The verb in Chisukwa: aspect, tense and 
>> time. Bloomington: Indiana University dissertation.
>> Koontz-Garboden, Andrew. 2012. The monotonicity hypothesis. In 
>> Violeta Demonte & Louise McNally, eds., Telicity, change, and state: 
>> A cross-categorial view of event structure.
>> Martin, Fabienne, Zsófia Gyarmarthy & Károly Varasdi. 2016. On 
>> non-culminating interpretations of telic predicates. Handout from the 
>> Fall School on Tense, Mood and Aspect, Paris 5 & 7 November 2016.
>> Nichols, Johanna. 2015. State-based vs. transition-based lexical 
>> event structure. Paper read at the workshop on resultative 
>> constructions, Stockholm University, November 2015.
>> Sasse, Hans-Jürgen. 2002. Recent activity in the theory of aspect:
>> Accomplishments, achievements, or just non-progressive state?
>> Linguistic Typology6(2). 199–271.
>> Smith, Carlota S. 1997 [1991]. The parameter of aspect, 2nd edn.
>> Dordrecht: Kluwer.
>> Van Valin, Robert D., Jr. 2006. Some universals of verb semantics. In 
>> Ricardo Mairal & Juana Gil, eds., Linguistic Universals, 155-178.
>> Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
>> Vendler, Zeno. 1957. Verbs and times. The Philosophical Review 66. 143–160.
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Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de) Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
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