Explaining the link between agentivity and non-culminating causation

Fabienne Martin


This paper offers an account for why, cross-linguistically, denying the whole change of state encoded by causative verbs is easier with agent than with causer subjects. It does so by extending Varasdi's theory of the progressive to non-culminating reading sof causative verbs, not only in progressive but also in perfective sentences. It additionally sustains two claims about the difference between agentive and nonagentive ongoing causation events: only the former (a) can in principle start before their potential effects start and (b) are systematically `indicative' of these potential effects.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/salt.v25i0.3060