Semelfactives

  • Markus Egg

Abstract

The present paper discusses the aspectual class of ‘semelfactives’, which comprises expressions that introduce eventualities with inherent boundaries, often a very short duration, but no lexically defined change of state, e.g., ‘flash’ and ‘cough’. After reviewing previous analyses of semelfactives (including their integration into an overall system of aspectual classification), an analysis of semelfactives that treats them as denoting singleton (rather than iterated) eventualities will be defended. As a challenge for this analysis of semelfactives, semantic construction of semelfactives with frequency adverbials will be presented and analysed in terms of a coercion operator.
Published
2018-12-24