ENDPOINTS 2018, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 30-31.01.2018

This workshop aims to investigate the relation between the notions of ‘endpoint’, ‘scalarity’/ ‘incrementality’, and ‘result state’ in the grammar of verbal predicates. A great amount of research in syntax and semantics has been dedicated to investigating the contribution of such notions in determining the behavior of lexical verbal predicates and other descriptions of eventualities (like, e.g., resultatives, deverbal adjectives, participles, particle verbs, a.o.), most notably their aspectual properties (telicity, classification in terms of Vendlerian classes, etc.). Although the notions are logically independent, they are, at the same time, clearly interrelated. As a result, they have been formalized and related to each other in many different ways in the literature giving rise to a great variety of theoretical approaches and analytical options when dealing with specific empirical phenomena. 

Two main lines of research (though with considerable internal variation) have been established: one that relates the aspectual properties of (verbal) predicates with scalarity and/ or incrementality (Krifka 1989, Hay et al. 1999, Kennedy and McNally 2005, Winter 2006, Kennedy and Levin 2008, Wechsler 2005, Piñón 2008, Rappapport Hovav 2008, Landman and Rothstein 2010, Beavers 2013, a.m.o.), and one that relates aspectual properties with specific event structures (Dowty 1979, Grimshaw 1990, Parsons 1990, Pustejovsky 1991, von Stechow 1996, Higginbotham 2000, a.m.o.). The workshop aims to highlight recent developments in this area and to bring together researchers working within both traditions with the goal to clarify the relation between the two approaches (in their different manifestations). 

Numerous questions arise in any attempt to achieve the main goal of this workshop. To mention a few examples:

  • Which aspects of the two approaches are mutually exclusive and which are not? How does the answer to this question differ under the different manifestations of a scalar analysis (incrementality-based approaches, degree-based approaches, vector-based approaches, etc.)? 
  • What is the relation between ‘result state’ as understood in event decompositional approaches and the ‘endpoints’ of scalar analyses? What are the grammatical diagnostics (if any) that can reliably differentiate between result states and scalar endpoints? 
  • What is the relation between causativity and telicity?
  • Approaches further differ on whether they syntactically decompose (verbal) predicates (Kratzer 1996, Ramchand 1997, Embick 2004, Borer 2005, Alexiadou, Anagnostopoulou and Schäfer 2006, a.m.o.) or not (Reinhart and Siloni 2005, Rappaport Hovav and Levin 1998, a.m.o. ). Does syntactic decomposition affect the relation between scalar and event decompositional approaches? For example, do syntactically represented result states allow a semantic treatment in terms of scalarity/ incrementality?

Topics related to answering these and related questions include (among others):

  • The classification of (a)telic and manner/result predicates within and across languages.
  • The grammar of incremental theme verbs, degree achievements, and particle verbs.
  • The grammar of resultatives, participles, and deverbal adjectives.
  • Diagnostics for result states and/ or scalar endpoints. 
  • Manner-result complementarity.
  • Eventive vs. stative readings of scalar predicates.
  • Partitive/atelic readings of telic predicates and telic readings of atelic predicates.
  • Anti-causativization, passivization and lexical aspect.
  • Affectedness and the realization of internal arguments.

The workshop further aims to gain insight from a variety of empirical data, including fieldwork or judgments from understudied languages, quantitative judgment data from native speakers, and data from psycholinguistic or language acquisition studies in addition to informal native speaker judgments.


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Alexiadou, A. and E. Anagnostopoulou. 2012. Manner vs. result complementarity in verbal alternations: a view from the clear-alternation. In Proceedings of North East Linguistic Society 42. MA:GLSA.

Deo, A., I. Francez, and A. Koontz-Garboden. 2013. From change to value difference in degree achievements. Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 23, 97-115.

Beavers, J. 2013. Aspectual classes and scales of change. Linguistics 54: 681–706.

Beavers, J. and A. Koontz-Garboden. 2012. Manner and result in the roots of verbal meaning. Linguistic Inquiry 43: 331–369.

Borer, H. 2005. Structuring sense. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Dowty, D. 1979. Word Meaning and Montague Grammar: The Semantics of Verbs and Times in Generative Semantics and in Montague’s PTQ. Reidel, Dordrecht, Netherlands.

Embick, D. 2004. On the structure of resultative participles in English. Linguistic Inquiry 35(3): 355–92.

Grimshaw, J. 1990. Argument Structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hay, J., C. Kennedy, and B. Levin. 1999. Lexicalized meaning and the internal temporal structure of events. In T. Matthews, and D. Strolovitch (eds.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 9, 127–144. 

Higginbotham, J. 2000. On events in linguistic semantics. In J. Higginbotham, F. Pianesi, and A. Varzi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press.

Kennedy, C. and B. Levin. 2008. Measure of change: the adjectival core of verbs of variable telicity. In L. McNally and C. Kennedy (eds.), Adjectives and Adverbs: Syntax, Semantics and Discourse, 156-182. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kennedy, C. and L. McNally. 2005. Scale structure and the semantic typology of gradable predicates. Language 81(2): 345–381.

Kearns, K. 2007. Telic sense of deadjectival verbs. Lingua 117: 26-66.

Kratzer, A. 1996. Severing the external argument from its verb. In J. Rooryck and L. Zaring (eds.), Phrase Structure and the Lexicon. Kluwer. Dordrecht. 109-137

Kratzer, A. 2004. Telicity and the meaning of objective case. In J. Guéron and J. Lecarme (eds), The Syntax of TIme, 389-423. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Krifka, M. 1989. Nominal reference, temporal constitution and quantification in event semantics. In R. Bartsch, J. van Benthem, and P. van Emde Boas (eds.), Semantics and Contextual Expressions, 75–115. Foris Publications, Dordrecht.

Landman, F. and S. Rothstein. 2010. Incremental homogeneity in the semantics of aspectual for-phrases. In M. Rapapport Hovav, I. Sichel and E. Doron (eds.), Syntax, Lexical Semantics and Event Structure. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Parsons, T. 1990. Events in the Semantics of English. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Piñón, C. 2008. Aspectual composition with degrees. In L. McNally and C. Kennedy (eds.), Adjectives and Adverbs: Syntax, Semantics and Discourse, 183–219. New York: Oxford University Press.

Pustejovsky, J. 1991. The syntax of event structure. Cognition 41: 47–81.

Ramchand, G. 2008. Verb meaning and the lexicon: a first-phase syntax. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Rappaport Hovav, M. 2008. Lexicalized meaning and the internal temporal structure of events. In S. Rothstein (ed.), Theoretical and Crosslinguistic Approaches to the Semantics of Aspect. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Rappaport Hovav, M. and B. Levin. 1998. Building verb meanings. In M. Butt and W. Geuder (eds.), The Projection of Arguments: Lexical and Compositional Factors, 97–133. CSLI Publications, Stanford.

Reinhart, T., and T. Siloni. 2005. The lexicon-syntax parameter: reflexivization and other arity operations. Linguistic Inquiry 36: 389-436.

von Stechow, A. 1996. The different readings of wieder "again": a structural account. Journal of Semantics 13: 87-138.

Wechsler, S. 2005. Resultatives under the ‘event-argument homomorphism’ model of telicity. In N. Erteschik-Shir and T. Rapoport (eds.), The Syntax of Aspect. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 255-273.

Winter, Y. 2006. Closure and telicity across categories. In C. Tancredi, M. Kanazawa, I. Imani, and K. Kusumoto (eds.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 16. 

Goldschmidt, A. and J. Zwarts. 2016. Hitting the nail on the head: Force vectors in verb semantics. In M. Moroney, C.-R. Little, J. Collard, and D. Burgdorf (eds.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 26.