Глагольный вид и дополнение со значением меры в английском и русском языках

  • Ханс Роберт Мелиг Universität Kiel

Abstract

The paper is focused on predications with incremental arguments, for example, drinking tea, eating ice-cream, but also handing out books or throwing away letters, when these predications are understood in a temporal distributive way, that is, when the entities denoted are consecutively involved in the situation. Predications with an incremental argument denote situations where there is a certain parallelism between the temporal duration of the situation on the one hand, and the increase or the decrease of the amount denoted by the incremental argument on the other. The more time one spends drinking one’s tea, the less tea remains in the cup. Predications denoting an incremental relation have been comprehensively discussed in formal semantics, and also from other perspectives. Here, it has been observed that neither in English nor in Russian the predications with an incremental argument can be coded as “ongoing”, as progressive, if the incremental argument is related to a bounded amount. Indeed, using the progressive form in an example such as Masha is drinking two cups of tea without further context can be understood only in such a way as to mean that Masha is drinking her tea alternately from both cups. The same is true for Russian if we use the imperfective aspect in its progressive reading. In Russian too, the equivalent example Maša p’et dve čaški čaja cannot be understood in such a way as to mean that Masha is drinking one cup after the other. So it may seem that a progressive coding of a situation and progressive coding of an incremental argument denoting a bounded amount are mutually exclusive. In this paper, I would like to describe in more detail when and why progressive coding of a situation and progressive coding of an incremental argument denoting a bounded quantity are mutually exclusive. In particular, I would like to show and explain why this restriction is not valid if the quantity of the amount denoted is known at the very beginning of the situation. For instance, if in our example Masha is drinking her two cups of tea/Maša p’et svoi dve čaški čaja the incremental argument is introduced with a possessive pronoun such as her/svoi and is thus related to an amount already specified in the context.