Aspects of Aspect: Phasic and Episodic Dimensions of Verbs
The present study sets out to analyze aspectuality and coercion in Persian from a new perspective. With regard to the transcendental aspectual distinction between perfectivity, characterized by boundedness and heterogeneity, and imperfectivity, specified by uniformity and homogeneity (Langacker, 2008), it is argued that the heterogeneity of verbs may be assessed according to their phasic and episodic variables. In other words, in contrast to homogeneous verbs, which lack any kind of boundedness, heterogeneous verbs may occur either in a bounded phasic domain or in a bounded episodic domain. Concerning phasic-episodic features, this study presents a new model of lexical aspect that can differentiate five aspectual categories. The paper also scrutinizes the combinations of different verbs with different sentential operators in order to explain various kinds of type-shifting triggered by different operators. Thereby, two procedures of phasic coercion and episodic coercion are introduced which are responsible for modifying the phasic and episodic features of verbs in order to resolve the semantic conflicts between verbs and sentential operators. These procedures modify the phasic/episodic attributes of verbs according to the viewing frames evoked by interpretative operators.
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