ERIC Number: EJ1040555
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Interpretation of Verb Phrase Telicity: Sensitivity to Verb Type and Determiner Type
Ogiela, Diane A.; Schmitt, Cristina; Casby, Michael W.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v57 n3 p865-875 Jun 2014
Purpose: The authors examine how adults use linguistic information from verbs, direct objects, and particles to interpret an event description as encoding a logical endpoint to the event described (in which case, it is telic) or not (in which case, it is atelic). Current models of aspectual composition predict that quantity-sensitive verbs combined with quantized objects produce telic predicates. Behavioral results from previous experiments have not unequivocally confirmed this prediction. The study presents a more fine-grained analysis that examines the influence of partitive verbs, resultative particles, and different determiner types on listeners' evaluations of verb phrases as telic or atelic. Method: Forty-eight English-speaking adults participated in a truth-value judgment task to determine whether they interpreted verb phrases with different types of verbs and direct objects as telic or atelic. Participants viewed short videos and responded to a yes/no question after each one. Results: The presence of partitive quantity-sensitive verbs and the presence of a definite determiner versus a cardinal number in quantized direct objects had a differential impact on listeners' interpretations of sentences as telic. Conclusion: The results indicate that actual behavioral interpretations of telicity are meaningfully influenced by the presence of partitive verbs, resultative particles, and different types of determiners.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A