Aspect and V-V compounds in Japanese


Hideki Kishimoto (Kobe University)




In this presentation, I will look at Japanese V-V compounds, and show that the second verbs often serve as aspectualizers, in a way similar to particles in English particle verbs (e.g. use up). The second verbs can specify a variety of aspectual meanings, which affect the lexical aspects of the first verbs, and in particular, they can be used for adding completive and incompletive meanings to the first verbs. I will argue that completive second verbs function as “maximalization” operators, which can turn cumulative predicates into telic predicates. I then propose that incompletive second verbs serve as “anti-maximalization” operators to create predicates that refer to events that terminate without reaching a specific endpoint. It is shown that the predicates derived by anti-maximalization are neither telic or atelic.