Resultative Constructions

John Beavers

in The Oxford Handbook of Tense and Aspect

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195381979
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Resultative Constructions

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Semantics



Resultative constructions refer to clauses in which, in addition to the main verb (V), there is an additional, secondary predicate known as the result XP, predicating some state that comes about for some participant in the event as a result of the action described by the clause. Aspectually, one of the leading reasons resultatives have been so important in work on semantics and syntax is that they represent a type of covert “event composition”: the V and XP independently denote eventualities (a dynamic event for the V and a state or stative eventuality for the XP), but together represent a single, derived eventuality, with no overt indication of the nature of the composition. This article first explores various types of resultatives and then looks at the most common analysis of resultatives as derived lexical accomplishments denoting caused change-of-state. It also discusses two recent strands of work challenging this view. After considering temporal relations between the V and XP other than causation, the article focuses on the role of change and telicity in resultatives, along with work challenging their relevance.

Keywords: resultatives; resultative constructions; syntax; semantics; event composition; causation; lexical accomplishments; temporal relations; telicity; change-of-state

Article.  12110 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Semantics

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