Aspectual Classification and Composition


This course will investigate the semantics of aspect: the lexical and compositional factors that determine how verbal predicates come to characterize eventualities in the ways that they do. We will begin with a close look at the empirical properties that have traditionally been used to classify verbal predicates into several different categories, and which also provide a core set of phenomena that a good theory of the lexical and compositional semantics of verbs and verb phrases needs to explain. We will then work our way through the major semantic analyses of these phenomena, with particular attention to the interaction of lexical, compositional and contextual factors in determining the overall aspectual properties of verbal predicates, and to the connections between the aspectual properties of verbs and related phenomena in other grammatical categories.

Course requirements

Students who enroll in the course for credit will be required to turn in a research paper at the end of the quarter. You should consult with me on the topic by the end of the seventh week.


NB: The following schedule is subject to change, so please check for updates each week! (Last updated: Friday, March 22)