On Davidsonian and kimian states

  • Davidsonian event semantics has an impressive track record as a framework for natural language analysis. In recent years it has become popular to assume that not only action verbs but predicates of all sorts have an additional event argument. Yet, this hypothesis is not without controversy in particular wrt the particularly challenging case of statives. Maienborn (2003a, 2004) argues that there is a need for distinguishing two kinds of states. While verbs such as sit, stand, sleep refer to eventualities in the sense of Davidson (= Davidsonian states), the states denoted by such stative verbs like know, weigh,and own, as well as any combination of copula plus predicate are of a different ontological type (= Kimian states). Against this background, the present study assesses the two main arguments that have been raised in favour of a Davidsonian approach for statives. These are the combination with certain manner adverbials and Parsons (2000) so-called time travel argument. It will be argued that the manner data which, at first sight, seem to provide evidence for a Davidsonian approach to statives are better analysed as non-compositional reinterpretations triggered by the lack of a regular Davidsonian event argument. As for Parsons´s time travel argument, it turns out that the original version does not supply the kind of support for the Davidsonian approach that Parsons supposed. However, properly adapted, the time travel argument may provide additional evidence for the need of reifying the denotatum of statives, as suggested by the assumption of Kimian states.

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Author:Claudia Maienborn
Place of publication:Kluwer Academic Publishers
Document Type:Preprint
Year of Completion:2008
Year of first Publication:2004
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/11/04
Postprint, zuerst in: I. Comorovski / K. von Heusinger : Existence : syntax and semantics , Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004
Source:(in:) I. Comorovski / K. von Heusinger : Existence : syntax and semantics
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht