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Stativity, supervenience and sentential subjects

  • The paper explores how verbs like helfen "help" should be treated within event semantics. These verbs allow both agentive NP-subjects and sentential CP-subjects. Their behavior with respect to adverbial modification reveals that in their agentive variant these verbs refer to events, while in their sentential variant they refer to states. The meaning that sentential helfen conveys is that the beneficiary is in a good disposition and that this state is brought about by what is expressed by the sentential subject. This involves a kind of subjective value statement about what is good for the beneficiary and what is not. The relation of "bringing about" involved here is not mainly one of causal dependence - lacking the typical denseness of causal chains - but one that involves supervenience. Supervenience, a notion widely used in moral theory and philosophy of the mind, allows accounting for the dependence of the rather subjective nature of the resultant state of helfen on particular events which occur in the world. The agentive variant of helfen is derived by embedding the meaning of sentential helfen into an event description.

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Author:Stefan EngelbergORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Event arguments : foundations and applications (Linguistische Arbeiten ; 501)
Place of publication:Tübingen
Editor:Angelika Wöllstein, Claudia Maienborn
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2005
GND Keyword:Bedeutung; Deutsch; Englisch; Textlinguistik; Verb
Page Number:24
First Page:45
Last Page:68
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 430 Deutsch
Open Access?:ja
BDSL-Classification:Sprache im 20. Jahrhundert. Gegenwartssprache
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0 Deutschland