An Interpretation Domain with Context-Dependent Events

Eun-Joo Kwak 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1Sejong University
Corresponding Author : Eun-Joo Kwak, Department of English Language and Literature, Sejong University 98 Gunja-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-747, Korea. Phone: +82-2-3408-3633; Email:

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Nov 12, 2012; Revised: Jan 05, 2013; Accepted: Feb 10, 2013

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


I address the interpretations of verbal predicates, focusing on the structural similarities between the domains of objects and events. Based on Davidson’s (1967) theorum that events are individuals just like objects, I start from a proper interpretation domain for nominal interpretations and expand it to verbal interpretations. I critically review Rothstein (2008), which takes an interpretation domains suggested by Chierchia (1998). To resolve problems in the earlier approaches, I resort to a vague interpretation domain of Chierchia (2010) and suggest an event structure for proper interpretations of verbal predicates in accord with Vendler’s (1967) classification.

Keywords: predicate; aspectual class; state; activity; achievement; accomplishment; event; interpretation domain; atom; nonatom; vagueness



Bach, E. 1986. The Algebra of Events. Linguistics and Philosophy 9, 5-16.


Chierchia, G. 1998. Plurality of Mass Nouns and the Notion of Semantic Parameter. In S. Rothstein (ed.), Events and Grammar. Dordrecht: Kluwer.


Chierchia, G. 2010. Mass Nouns, Vagueness, and Semantic Variation. Synthese 174, 99-149.


Davidson, D. 1967. The Logical Form of Action Sentences. In N. Resher (ed.), The Logic of Decision and Action 81-95. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.


Kennedy, C. 2007. Vagueness and Grammar: The Semantics of Relative and Absolute Gradable Adjectives. Linguistics and Philosophy 30, 1-45.


Krifka, M. 1986. Nominal Referenz und Zeitkonstitution: Zur Semantik von Massentermen, Individualtermen, Aspektklassen. Ph.D Dissertation. The University of Munich.


Krifka, M. 1992. Thematic Relations as Links between Nominal Reference and Temporal Constitution. In I. Sag & A. Szabolsci (eds.), Lexical Matters 29-53. Stanford: CSLI.


Landman, F. 1989. Groups I & II. Linguistics and Philosophy 12, 559-606 & 723-744.


Landman, F. 1996. Plurality. In S. Lappin (ed.), A Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory 425-457. Oxford: Blackwell. Lasersohn, P. 1995. Plurality, Conjunction, and Events. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Link, G. 1983. The Logical Analysis of Plurals and Mass Terms: A Lattice Theoretical Approach. In N. Bäuerle et al. (eds.), Meaning, Use, and Interpretation of Language 302-323. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.


Link, G. 1984. Hydras and the Logic of Relative Construction with Multiple Heads. In F. Landman et al. (eds.), Varieties of Formal Semantics 245-257. Dordrecht: Foris.


Parsons, T. 1990. Events in the Semantics of English. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Rothstein, S. 1999. Fine-Grained Structure in the Eventuality Domain: The Semantics of Predicate Adjective Phrases and Be. Natural Language Semantics 7, 37-420.


Rothstein, S. 2008. Telicity, Atomicity, and the Vendler Classification of Verbs. In S. Rothstein (ed.), Theoretical and Crosslinguistic Approaches to the Semantics of Aspect 43-78. Amsterdam: John Benjamin.


Rothstein, S. 2010. Counting and the Mass/Count Distinction. Journal of Semantics 27, 343-397.


Schein, B. 1995. Plurals and Events. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Vendler, Z. 1967. Linguistics in Philosophy. Ithaca: Cornell.