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PhD ceremony Ms. M. Walková: The aspectual function of particles in phrasal verbs

When:Th 20-06-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Ms. M. Walková, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: The aspectual function of particles in phrasal verbs

Promotor(s): prof. J. Hoeksema, prof. S. Kavka

Faculty: Arts

Milada Walkova’s dissertation discusses the aspectual function of particles in English phrasal verbs. Aspectual particles have been standardly treated as telicity-marking, yet such an approach fails to cover English particles exhaustively. Therefore the dissertation aims to answer the following question: Do English particles truly mark telicity? Drawing on corpus data and acceptability judgements of native speakers of English, Walková argues that particles are not primarily markers of telicity. Instead, she analyzes their aspect in the framework of scalarity. A scale is an ordering of values of a particular attribute, e.g. temperature in to warm. Walková argues that there are two types of particles – non-scalar and scalar, depending on the kind of change denoted in the phrasal verb. The two types of particles differ in effects on argument structure and ability to mark telicity. Unlike non-scalar particles, scalar particles refer to a change along a scale. Nevertheless, they do not introduce a scale but specify a scale denoted in the predicate. One such possible specification is telicity marking, i.e. marking a boundary on a scale. Telicity marking, however, is a mere additional effect of scalar particles referring to a volume/extent type of scale. Another possible way for particles to specify a scale is to determine the direction of a property type of scale. The dissertation also shows that the proposed theory of English aspectual particles can be applied cross-linguistically, as illustrated with Slovak prefixes.

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