Telicity makes or breaks verb serialization

Kazuhiko Fukushima


The major focus in the research of lexical V1-V2 compounds in Japanese has been on the conditions for argument matching between two verbs. This paper sheds light on the role of telicity as an additional condition regarding verb serialization with Japanese as a test case. First, it is shown that V1 cannot be telic unless V2 is also telic. Any other patterns are possible. Second, (im)possible aspectual combinations are shown to be a consequence of aspectual composition based on Dowty’s (1986) aspectual classification of predicates.


lexical V-V compounds; telicity; verbal aspects; verb serialization; temporal iconicity; Japanese

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