S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 33 Number 1/4 (1997)
Agentivity and Nonstativity in English
- Yang, Heisoon
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.33 No.4, pp. 671-685
- This paper discusses the semantic properties, agentivity and stativity
of verbs, and investigates how such properties constrain syntactic
operations in English. For this purpose, this paper critically reviews the
dynamic-stativedichotomy and verb classification based on this dichotomy
by Quirk et al. (1985), claiming that agentivity and stativity are two
distinct concepts and thus neither is redundant to the other. The paper
demonstrates that the agentively (not dynamically) used verbs cannot
occur in imperatives, Wh-clefting constructions, and Do-so Substitutions.
In addition, agentively used verbs readily have a future time reference
with the simple present tense whereas nonagentively used verbs do not.
This paper also draws analogies between nouns and verbs, and between
adjectives and verbs in terms of agentivity.