Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
RandallButh
Posts: 1006
Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by RandallButh » November 1st, 2014, 7:53 am

Most everything is complex because of human ability to create metaphor.

The idea of single, uncancellable meaning is probably a dead-end that is replaced with prototypicality theory. Uncancellability was particularly championed by those who wanted to remove time from the Greek verb. They did that without realizing that aspect was likewise "cancelled" in some situations, or better stated, blurred and used against itself for rhetorical effect.
0 x



TimNelson
Posts: 61
Joined: October 17th, 2014, 11:04 pm
Location: Australia, Victoria, Geelong

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by TimNelson » November 2nd, 2014, 6:32 am

Hmm. So, I've read the Wikipedia page on Prototype Theory. This prompts questions:

- In trying to salvage a definition-based model, would it be reasonable then to talk about more and less cancellable values, rather than cancellable and uncancellable? And to assign them a strength, rather than a +/- value? (ranging from +10 to -10, for example)?

- Running with the Prototype Theory idea, I'm still not quite sure how it applies? Are we expecting a particular verb to be the most prototypically stative verb? Are we thinking that some use of eg. the Aorist is the most prototypical use of the aorist (with, of course, other prototypical uses running along with it)?

Thanks!
0 x
--
Tim Nelson
B. Sc. (Computer Science), M. Div. Looking for work (in computing or language-related jobs).

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 2nd, 2014, 8:03 am

wayland wrote:My brain also suddenly threw up this example. It's basically a study of the lexical aspect of ἐρχομαι vs. ἐισερχομαι. You'll probably want to start on about p. 14 (PDF page 25). She talks about the different markers for telling the difference between the different Vendler classes, including how to tell the difference between accomplishments and achievements. In particular, she claims that her 129 pages prove that ἐρχομαι is an activity, whereas ἐισερχομαι is telic (ie. an accomplishment).

https://etd.ohiolink.edu/ap/10?0::NO:10 ... 1238085936

Hope this helps.
"Proves" is the wrong word; "tries to persuade" might be more accurate. This topic was brought up, with links, in the B-Greek thread, Telicity of ἐλθεῖν (ἕρχομαι)?, which cites someone who critiques Shain. Personally, I think the better argument is that ἐλθεῖν is telic.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 2nd, 2014, 9:19 am

TimNelson wrote:- In trying to salvage a definition-based model, would it be reasonable then to talk about more and less cancellable values, rather than cancellable and uncancellable? And to assign them a strength, rather than a +/- value? (ranging from +10 to -10, for example)?
I'm not sure it's worth salvaging. You mean something like fuzzy sets? If you're a computer scientist, I suppose you can also set up a neural network or something.
TimNelson wrote:- Running with the Prototype Theory idea, I'm still not quite sure how it applies? Are we expecting a particular verb to be the most prototypically stative verb? Are we thinking that some use of eg. the Aorist is the most prototypical use of the aorist (with, of course, other prototypical uses running along with it)?
These questions are difficult to understand. For example, I don't understand what you mean by "Aorist" with a capital A.

We can do something like this. A prototypical transitive construction has an agent that is animate and unaffected by the action plus a patient that is inanimate and totally affected by the action. For example, "John broke the window" fits a prototypical transitive, while "John touched the window" is less so, and "The window hit John" is even less so Prototypical transitives would have active verbs, nominative subjects, and accusative objects, and less prototypical transitive constructions may use other cases or voices. For example, "touch" in Greek takes a genitive object.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Eeli Kaikkonen
Posts: 424
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 7:49 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » November 2nd, 2014, 12:44 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:For example, "touch" in Greek takes a genitive object.
That's interesting, isn't it? I'm also trying to decrypt LSJ and understand how the meanings are related: ἅπτω: fasten or bind to (with accusative?); ἅπτομαι: fasten oneself to, grasp (with genitive), and hence touch or even affect or make an impression upon. It's easy to see how ἅπτομαι in the first concrete meaning isn't transitive at all but how the same construction (with genitive) have become more transitive (and less subject-affected).
0 x

cwconrad
Posts: 2110
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
Contact:

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by cwconrad » November 2nd, 2014, 1:34 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:
Stephen Carlson wrote:For example, "touch" in Greek takes a genitive object.
That's interesting, isn't it? I'm also trying to decrypt LSJ and understand how the meanings are related: ἅπτω: fasten or bind to (with accusative?); ἅπτομαι: fasten oneself to, grasp (with genitive), and hence touch or even affect or make an impression upon. It's easy to see how ἅπτομαι in the first concrete meaning isn't transitive at all but how the same construction (with genitive) have become more transitive (and less subject-affected).
ἅπτειν active means "bring x (acc.) into contact with y (dat.)" -- "ignite" is a common sense; ἅπτεσθαι direct reflexive means "bring oneself into contact with y (gen.)." Why genitive? I think it's partitive: one doesn't grasp the whole of what one touches but comes into contact with a part of it.
0 x
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Stephen Carlson
Posts: 2825
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 2nd, 2014, 4:42 pm

cwconrad wrote:ἅπτεσθαι direct reflexive means "bring oneself into contact with y (gen.)." Why genitive? I think it's partitive: one doesn't grasp the whole of what one touches but comes into contact with a part of it.
That's assuredly the logic.
0 x
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

TimNelson
Posts: 61
Joined: October 17th, 2014, 11:04 pm
Location: Australia, Victoria, Geelong

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by TimNelson » November 2nd, 2014, 7:58 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:
TimNelson wrote:- In trying to salvage a definition-based model, would it be reasonable then to talk about more and less cancellable values, rather than cancellable and uncancellable? And to assign them a strength, rather than a +/- value? (ranging from +10 to -10, for example)?
I'm not sure it's worth salvaging. You mean something like fuzzy sets? If you're a computer scientist, I suppose you can also set up a neural network or something.
It may not be, I was just wanting to consider the possibilities.
Stephen Carlson wrote:
TimNelson wrote:- Running with the Prototype Theory idea, I'm still not quite sure how it applies? Are we expecting a particular verb to be the most prototypically stative verb? Are we thinking that some use of eg. the Aorist is the most prototypical use of the aorist (with, of course, other prototypical uses running along with it)?
These questions are difficult to understand. For example, I don't understand what you mean by "Aorist" with a capital A.
In this case, it just means that my fingers somehow hit a shift key at an inappropriate time.
Stephen Carlson wrote: We can do something like this. A prototypical transitive construction has an agent that is animate and unaffected by the action plus a patient that is inanimate and totally affected by the action. For example, "John broke the window" fits a prototypical transitive, while "John touched the window" is less so, and "The window hit John" is even less so Prototypical transitives would have active verbs, nominative subjects, and accusative objects, and less prototypical transitive constructions may use other cases or voices. For example, "touch" in Greek takes a genitive object.
Ah, so we're still specifying our prototype in a definitional rather than exemplary way, at least to some extent?

Hmm. Interestingly, this thread started with an attempt to categorise words according to lexical attributes. Now we're talking about ways of defining lexical attributes.
0 x
--
Tim Nelson
B. Sc. (Computer Science), M. Div. Looking for work (in computing or language-related jobs).

MAubrey
Posts: 982
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by MAubrey » November 3rd, 2014, 9:48 am

Stephen Carlson wrote:
TimNelson wrote:- In trying to salvage a definition-based model, would it be reasonable then to talk about more and less cancellable values, rather than cancellable and uncancellable? And to assign them a strength, rather than a +/- value? (ranging from +10 to -10, for example)?
I'm not sure it's worth salvaging. You mean something like fuzzy sets? If you're a computer scientist, I suppose you can also set up a neural network or something.
For what it's worth, cognitive linguists, use all three of these together: prototypes, fuzzy sets, & neural networks.
TimNelson wrote:Ah, so we're still specifying our prototype in a definitional rather than exemplary way, at least to some extent?
Both. The 'definition', to the extent that it is one, is a description of an exemplar. The problem is that there is no one, single exemplar prototypical transitive for all time, such that whenever you want to talk about it, you just say, "Bob kicked the penguin," and everyone knows. When prototype theory is applied to real world objects, usually statistics are used to delineate more prototypical members from less prototypical members (e.g. 'couch' is a better exemplar for furniture than 'blender'), but even then an exemplar is a fairly personal thing depending on an individual's embodied cognition. I would prefer 'chair' as the exemplar for furniture, but you might prefer 'couch'. North Americans tend to prefer the American Robin for the exemplar for birds, but the British are going to have a different exemplar. When we move to more abstract categories (What is the exemplar for 'blue'? for example), it is simply easier to move toward describing the exemplar and simply labeling it the 'prototypical instantiation.' Any transitive sentence that fits the criteria of the prototypical transitive can function as an exemplar simply because language is too big to limit it.
0 x
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

TimNelson
Posts: 61
Joined: October 17th, 2014, 11:04 pm
Location: Australia, Victoria, Geelong

Re: Verb catalog - lexical aspect

Post by TimNelson » November 3rd, 2014, 10:44 pm

Hmm. I've just realised that there's some confusion in this thread, and it's MINE, ALL MINE! MUAHAHAHA (sorry, got carried away :) ).

Anyway, I'd interpreted Randall's comment to be saying that the idea of having a verb catalogue which enumerated the attributes of the verb was a dead end, despite the fact that, on closer reading, that's not what he was talking about at all. So I think I've finally managed to make sense of this thread (unless I've misunderstood again :? ).
0 x
--
Tim Nelson
B. Sc. (Computer Science), M. Div. Looking for work (in computing or language-related jobs).

Post Reply

Return to “Word Meanings”