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More on inchoative (was: Re: Verb tenses question)

From:taliesin the storyteller <taliesin@...>
Date:Monday, January 3, 2000, 21:03
* Nik Taylor ( [991221 03:44]:
> taliesin the storyteller wrote: > > I've used inceptive as well, since inchoative seems more general and > > ambiguous. > > Inceptive indicates the beginning of an action, like "He started to > run", and, AFAICT, inchoative is the same thing, but I'm not sure.
R. L. Trask agrees with you in "A dictionary of grammatical terms in linguistics", though he claims it covers the beginning of both states and activities, and lists inchoative, inceptive and ingressive all as synonyms. Finally found the reference I was looking for: in "Syntax: A linguistic introduction to sentence structure"[*] by Keith Brown and Jim Miller (Routledge 1991), inchoative verbs "... describe an entity changing from one state to another...". They are action-verbs, but change-of-state != beginning of action. I have encountered even more uses of inchoative in literature on causation but 1) I don't have access to all my books here in the lab for one thing, and 2) the linguistics departement and its library is at a campus across town, and closes early to boot. [*] It has the worst set of references I've encountered so far, several books mentioned in the text are simply missing from it! What good is "Hockett (1982)" when it is impossible to find the title of the book or the full name of the darn author?! tal. -- Teflon Brain 2000(tm) - Excuse of the Future!