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Re: Settle a Bet

From:Kala Tunu <kalatunu@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 26, 2002, 22:45
telicity is also referred to when speaking of purpose and goal viewed from the
different core actors of a verb. for instance, when you say "i tell him" you
imply that "he" can receive and understand your talk. when you say "i hit him",
you don't imply anything clear as to how the blow affects "him". "to tell"
presupposes it will trigger addressee's behaviour, which is a kind of "oblique"
or "hidden" prospective telicity. many concepts are either telic or atelic like
"to sculpt (up)" (wood or a statue). "to sculpt up a statue" is telic and statue
is a focus, while "to sculpt wood" is atelic and wood is a patient. that's why i
said Rick Morneau is wrong to dismiss telicity. same for "to eat": it's either
an activity using food as a "fuel" or an action whereby food is consumed. in the
first case ("to eat"), the goal is to feed oneself and the food is the means to
achieve that goal while in the second case ("to eat at something") there is no
obvious goal. in the first verb, the "direction" of the verb is towards or
inside the eating subject while in the second verb, the direction goes towards
the food object to change its state, nature, or behaviour, etc. that's why
french semanticians talk about endotropic and exotropic verbs rather than of
(in)transitivite verbs. an endotropic verb may have a direct object. that's why
in indonesian plenty of socalled "intransitive" verbs don't need a preposition:
dia pandai belajar bahasa inggris "he's clever (at) learning english".
incidentally, these direct objects are precisely what Rick Morneau call "focus".
so (a)telicity often decides whether the object of a verb is a focus or a
patient. in my conlang, verbs of procurement like "to eat", "to buy", "to
harvest", etc. take the endotropic tag like state verbs do because their
direction is "towards or inside the subject". their object is a focus and has a
different passive than patient objects have:
to eat : (bai-)tumu (endotropic)
to be eaten : sai-tumu (focus)
to be eaten : nai-tumu (patient)
to hit : tai-take (exotropic)
to be hit : nai-take (patient)
to give : tai-tula (exotropic)
to be given : sai-tula (focus)
to be given something : nai-tula (patient)
to buy : bai-koco
to sell : tai-koco
that's the fancy part of Tunu but most of those prefixes are optional and the
passive is rarely used anyway.

Elliott Lash <AL260@...> wrote:
Speaking of telicity. I am currently reading a book called: Events as Grammatical Objects: The Converging Perspectives of Lexical Semantics and Syntax Ed. Carol Tenny & James Pustejovsky So far, I've understood that in current literature there are four main subtypes of verbs..or at least, these editors are concentrating on 4 subtyped: Stative: "Bill loves Mary" Statives are verbs with no internal structure or change during the span of time in which they are true Actives: "John walked along the river" Actives are verbs which are ongoing events with internal change and duration, but no necessary temporal endpoint These both (or maybe just Actives...not really sure) are termed "Atelic", since they have no endpoints. Then there are: Accomplishments: "He consumed the pineapple" Accomplishments are events with duration and an obligatory endpoint. Achievements: "John arrived in Pittsburgh" Achievements are events which have instantaneous culmination or endpoint and are necessarily without duration. These last two are "Telic" meaning they are bounded, or culminating. This is my limited vew of there any one more skilled who'd like to elucidate? Elliott Lash (PS Sorry if this comes twice, computer is being weird) <<< Mathias