The Progressive and the Imperfective Paradox

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Abstract

Formal semantics constitutes the framework of the research presented here, and the aim is to provide a solution to the imperfective paradox; i.e. explain why ``Max was running'' entails ``Max ran'', but ``Max was running home'' does not entail ``Max ran home''. This paper is divided into two parts. In Part I we evaluate what I will call the {\em Eventual Outcome Strategy} for solving the imperfective paradox. This strategy is commonly used (Dowty 1979, Hinrichs 1983, Cooper 1985), and is highly intuitively motivated. I will show, however, that the formulations of the intuitions give rise to conflicts and tensions when it comes to explaining the natural language data. In Part II we offer a new approach to tackle the imperfective paradox that overcomes the problems with the Eventual Outcome Strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-447
Number of pages47
JournalSynthese
Volume87
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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