Dr. Joel M. Hoffman
joel at exc.com
Wed Jul 27 10:55:22 EDT 2005
>I would like to use telicity as a example.
>The book "A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics" 4th ed, by David
>Crystal (2001) says that telicity refers "to an event where the activity has
>a clear terminal point. Telic verbs include fall, kick, and make". Let us
>look at the Hebrew equivalents for two of these verbs, namely, BR) (create)
>and NPL (fall). I am quite sure that Hebrew children knew that the end was
Looking at the ancient Hebrew isn't useful, because we don't know the
answer. Rather, I think, we should look at English, and see that the
claim doesn't hold up. Based on that, I think we have to assume that
it doesn't hold up in Hebrew, either (or, indeed, in any language of
which I am aware).
Regarding "fall": "The Devil created an endless pit and Korah fell
forever, never hitting bottom." (Please forgive the fanciful content
of my example.) Your assertion
>something was made. And when NPL was used, every child knew that the person
>or thing falling would not remain in the air, but would meet some kind of
just seems wrong.
>So I ask: Are there situations where the telicity of BR) and NPL can be
>blotted out or changed by the context?
Yes. That's my point.
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