Evaluative Adjectives as a Window onto Inner-Aspect

Supervised by:
  1. Javier Ormazabal Zamakona Director
  2. Myriam Uribe-Etxebarria Goti Director

Defence university: Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Fecha de defensa: 23 May 2017

  1. Ignacio Bosque Chair
  2. Elena Castroviejo Miró Secretary
  3. Aritz Irurtzun Sviaguincheva Committee member
  1. Lingüística y Estudios Vascos

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 142514 DIALNET lock_openADDI editor


This thesis proposes that Evaluative Adjectives (EAs) (brave, intelligent, rude) are stative causative predicates that undergo the causative alternation just as many verbs do (break). It is argued that EAs syntactic and aspectual properties follow from a single stative causative lexical entry. Analysing EAs¿ aspectual properties leads to the general conclusions that the only primitive aspectual argument denotes a state, and that Davidsonian eventivity is epiphenomenal.EAs are compared with adjectives of psychological experience (eager, willing) and relational adjectives and adjectives denoting physical states (Canadian, tall), as well as verbs of all aspectual sorts. An important result is that adjectival argument structures are shown to be as complex as verbal ones. Argument structure is argued to be neutral with respect to lexical category.EAs are often analysed as Individual-Level predicates. It is shown that EAs only partially overlap with Individual-Level predicates. Rather, they have a distinct aspectual signature matching verbs classified as Davidsonian-States and stative causatives. In arguing against an IL classification of EAs an extensive argument against the Individual/Stage distinction is given.It is argued that cross-linguistically the only aspectual distinction made in the syntax through predicate decomposition is between states and causatives built out of states. Eventivity effects are derivative of causation, and ultimately pragmatic. The conclusion is that EAs and causative alternating verbs such as break have the same formal aspectual representations.