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Re: THEORY: Stative verbs and punctuality

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Saturday, December 13, 2008, 17:46
On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 2:09 AM, Eric Christopherson <rakko@...> wrote:

> I am wondering if any language has a verb that can be analyzed as both > stative and punctual. Everything I read on the subject seems to say that > stative verbs cannot distinguish punctual from durative, because states > inherently last some amount of time. However, I have thought of a few > examples that might be punctual statives:
gjâ-zym-byn would express some of this with a punctual aspect morpheme and the stative verb suffix. But I'm not sure if an independent analysis would call the {-van} suffix "stative"; it's used not only for states, but for nonvolitional or nonagentive processes.
> > - "The light flashed red" (e.g. it was glowing green, but then momentarily > turned red and then back to green) - I don't have a problem regarding this > as really an event rather than a state; but I think it would be cool for a > language to innovate by taking the stative "to be red" and applying to it > punctual eventive morphology. How likely is this?
fu-nu-van ðru-bô fu-ĉa. light-moment-V.STATE red-ADJ light-tool
> - "For a brief moment I felt angry" - Similar to the flashing example.
ĥul-nu-van. anger-moment-V.STATE
> - "When I glanced at the light, it was red" - This one I'm having a tough > time with. If you only looked at the light for an instance, you could see
Here I think gzb would mark the "glance" verb as punctual, but leave the "red" verb unmarked for aspect.
> - "Tiger Jr. came to the shelter when his owner had too many cats and > couldn't keep him" - I saw this on the Web today. Clearly the owner's state > of having too many cats had a duration, but in that sentence is "had too > many cats" eventive or stative? It's almost like it should say "... > *because* his owner had too many cats ...".
It seems to be common for languages to use the same words or structures to mark time-when and conditions-under-which. -- Jim Henry