Event realization and default aspect

Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (3):263-296 (2004)
There are languages – e.g., German, Inuktitut, andRussian – in which the aspectual reference of clausesdepends on the telicity of their event predicates. Weargue that in such languages, clauses or verb phrasesnot overtly marked for viewpoint aspect implicateor entail `event realization'', a property akin toParsons''s (1990) `culmination''. The aspectualreference associated with the use of clauses notovertly marked for aspect is computed in accordancewith the dependence of realization conditions ontelicity and in line with principles of Gricean pragmatics.We formalize event realization and capture thetelicity-dependent patterns of aspectual reference onwhich it is based by combining Krifka''s (1989, 1992,1998) event lattices with a model-theoreticinterpretation of Klein''s (1994) theory of tense andaspect. The latter permits us to treat the `topic times''of aspectual operators as temporal constraints on event realization.
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