November 9: Daniel Altshuler (Düsseldorf)

We’re happy to announce that on Friday, November 9, Daniel Altshuler (Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht entitled There is no such thing as neutral aspect. Hope to see you all there (note the unusual day and time)!

Date: Friday, November 9, 2012

Time: 11:00-13:00

Location: Trans 8, room 0.19  (A.W. de Grootkamer)

Abstract:
Carlota Smith (1991) proposed the notion of ‘neutral aspect’ in order to classify aspectual operators in many of the world’s language as having properties of both the perfective and the imperfective. I argue that this notion is not necessary once we assume that the imperfective/perfective distinction is inherently related to the boundedness requirement: a VP-event part must either have culminated or not have developed any further (cf. Krifka 1989, Koenig & Muansuwan 2000). Based on the imperfective in Russian, the progressive in English and the perfective in Hindi and Thai, I argue that perfective operators are those that impose the boundedness requirement, while imperfective operators are those do not. I also argue that the culmination entailment, which many take to be a key property of sentences with perfective VPs, is actually independent of the perfective/imperfective distinction; it is inherently tied to whether an aspectual operator requires a proper VP-event and both perfective and imperfective operators may impose such a requirement. Finally, I argue that the culmination implicature, which many also take to be a key property of sentences with perfective VPs, is also independent of the perfective/imperfective distinction. Instead, the culmination implicature arises due to ‘competition’ with aspectual markers in a given language. I finish the talk by discussing how the culmination implicature found with the perfective in Hindi—which has a five-way contrast between two perfectives, the perfect, the progressive and the imperfective—likely differs in how it arises from the imperfective in Russian, which solely has a two-way contrast between the perfective and the imperfective.

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