From: Mari Broman Olsen (molsen@umiacs.umd.edu)
Date: Thu May 08 1997 - 09:14:17 EDT

>From Micheal Palmer:
I just looked at Mari Olsen's thesis again, and she clearly says (on
page 9) that Aktionsart is the same thing as lexical aspect,
situation aspect, inherent aspect, aspectual task, verb class, and
predicate class.

It would probably help if Mari would comment on what she meant by
this. I personally would not see all of the items in her list as
synonymous. Mari: Do you intend all of these to mean the same, or are
you suggesting that Aktionsart be understood as an umbrella term
covering all of them?

*** My short answer is that if there were a short answer my thesis
wwould not have been about aspect: I would have accepted the
definitions and moved on to applying linguistic theory to machine
translation (where I am now). I chose lexical and gramamtical aspect
because I wanted to make clear that I was considering the contribution
of lexical and grammatical items, and not a mixed bag, and definitely
NOT the way things 'really are' in the world. My juxtaposition of the
terms above was to show the closest equivalents, so as not to through
all the babys out with the terminological bath.

***Jonathan Robie writes (with lots left out):

In the traditional grammars the term 'Aktionsart' is used for a
bewildering mixture... Linguists who see 'Aktionsart' as Mari does,
clearly have no reason to reject the term.

I reject the term precisely because of the bewildering mixture: if I
were to use it, I would call to mind Robertson, etc. Another good
reason to reject it is etymology: I am not concerned with kind of
action, but with how an action or state is represented in the lexical
and grammatical inventory of a language.

Mari Broman Olsen
Research Associate

University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies
3141 A.V. Williams Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

(301) 405-6754 FAX: (301) 314-9658


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