ITRW on Experimental Linguistics

Athens, Greece
August 28-30, 2006

Aspectual composition in Modern Greek

Maria Flouraki

Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex, UK

The rich aspectual system in Modern Greek involves both morphologically expressed grammatical aspect and eventuality types. Particular emphasis is paid to the interaction between grammatical aspect and eventuality types, since it is due to this interaction that the verbal predicate acquires distinct meanings. The main aim of this paper is to explain potential changes in the meaning of the eventualities caused by the interaction with grammatical aspect and provide a formal analysis of this interaction. I propose an analysis within Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), using Minimal Recursion Semantics (MRS) for the semantic representations. I argue that grammatical aspect is a function which takes as arguments particular eventualities. When the arguments are different from the required ones, then there are instances of reinterpretations, which are not instances of ungrammaticality. This can be explained with the introduction of subeventual templates, where grammatical aspect combines with eventuality types and selects eventualities or subeventualities appropriate to its selection restrictions, using information that is already there in the denotation of the eventualities.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Flouraki, Maria (2006): "Aspectual composition in modern Greek", In ExLing-2006, 129-132.