Lexical Aspect Classification

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Jonathan Robie
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Lexical Aspect Classification

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2011, 3:47 pm

Fanning provides lists of verbs, classified by lexical aspect: states, activities, accomplishments, and achievements.

How widely accepted is his classification? Who else has done similar classifications?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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mwpalmer
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Re: Lexical Aspect Classification

Post by mwpalmer » May 31st, 2011, 5:20 pm

This kind of classification system is fairly common in discussions of lexical semantics, and for a large number of words it works well. In any language, though, there will be a small number of words that prove problematic, so debates naturally ensue as to where some words best fit.
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Micheal W. Palmer

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Lexical Aspect Classification

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2011, 5:22 pm

If I want a classification like this for Greek, is Fanning still the best in town?

I like the fact that he lists many common verbs for me, which makes it easier to search electronic texts for patterns that occur based on his classification of the verb.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

mwpalmer
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Re: Lexical Aspect Classification

Post by mwpalmer » May 31st, 2011, 5:31 pm

I don't have a copy of Fanning's book handy, so I can't look at his classification at the moment. It's been a while since I saw it, so I don't really know if it's "the best one in town."
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Micheal W. Palmer

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Re: Lexical Aspect Classification

Post by MAubrey » May 31st, 2011, 10:15 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:I like the fact that he lists many common verbs for me, which makes it easier to search electronic texts for patterns that occur based on his classification of the verb.
Micheal is quite right about the pervasiveness of the approach.

In linguistics some prefer to apply the classification to individual predications rather than individual lexical items. See for example, Carlotta Smith, The Parameter of Aspect or Robert Van Valin's theoretical framework Role and Reference Grammar for the very problems Micheal refers to: it works well for many verbs and its quite difficult for others.

And this is why Fanning prefers to talk about procedural characteristics in refers to his classification.
Jonathan Robie wrote:How widely accepted is his classification? Who else has done similar classifications?
Mari Olsen has used a very similar system, but she is generally reliant Fanning for categorizing individual verbs. The differences between her and Fanning are primarily (but not entirely) terminological.

In Classical Greek, Peter Stork's book Aspectual usage of the Dynamic Infinitive uses a Vendlerian classification as well. He categorizes verbs in Herodotus.
Jonathan Robie wrote:If I want a classification like this for Greek, is Fanning still the best in town?
Yes. Olsen uses Fanning's collections of verbs and Stork isn't going to cover the NT very well. But then, I suppose, Fanning won't work for texts beyond the NT where Stork might complement him with the caveat of language change and all that--but I don't know how substantial any differences would be if at all.
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Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

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