Manner Modification of States


  • Wilhelm Geuder



In a recent contribution to a long-standing discussion in semantics as to whether the neo-Davidsonian analysis should be extended to stative predicates or not, Maienborn (2004, 2005) proposes to distinguish two types of statives; one of them is said to have a referential argument of the Davidsonian type, the other not. As one of her arguments for making such a distinction, Maienborn observes that manner modification seems to be supported only by certain statives but to be excluded by others (thus linking the issue to the use of manner modification as one major argument in favour of event semantics, cf. Parsons 1990). In this paper, it is argued that the absence of manner modification with Maienborn's second group of statives is actually due to a failure of conceptual construal: modification of a predicate is ruled out whenever its internal conceptual structure is too poor to provide a construal for the modifier; hence, the effects observed by Maienborn reduce to the fact that eventive predicates have a more complex conceptual substructure than stative ones. Hence, the issue of manner modification with statives is shown to be orthogonal to questions of logical form and event semantics. The explanatory power of the conceptual approach is demonstrated with a case study on predicates of light emission, adapting the representation format of Barsalou's (1992) frame model.




How to Cite

Geuder, W. (2019). Manner Modification of States. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 10(1), 111–124.