Manner, result, and intention: implications for event typology from a cognitive account of verb semantics based on fulfilment types

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Abstract

Verb semantics has been widely approached as a dichotomy of manner and result. However, from a cognitive perspective, manner and result are often linked by intention, as captured by the ‘fulfilment type’ property formulated in the Realisation event domain in Talmy’s event integration theory. The four ‘fulfilment types’ (intrinsic-, moot-, implied-, and attained-fulfilment) indicate different degrees of result certainty in verbs. This study investigates whether manner/result complementarity is cognitively less dichotomous and more nuanced, as the four fulfilment types in verbs could indicate more than two mental representations of verbs. Through two psycholinguistic experiments, we examine whether fulfilment types influence the cognitive salience of manner and result in novel verb meaning interpretation (Experiment 1) and the semantic relatedness between English verbs with different fulfilment types (Experiment 2). Our results demonstrate that manner and result in the mental lexicon act less like a dichotomy but more like a cline. This blur between manner and result verb statuses has consequences for a language’s typological stance in the Realisation domain and implications for how Talmyan event research should be extended beyond well-studied Motion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
JournalLanguage and Cognition
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2024

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