Note: This paper was presented at Lingüistica 2003, in Havana Cuba on Nov. 24th, 2003. The Powerpoint from the talk is available here (as a PDF) and the full paper here in PDF format. If you have any questions or comments feel free to E-mail me.

Dynamic Frames in Event Sturcture

Sean McLennan

November 24th, 2003


The concept of a "dynamic frame" is introduced for use in the analysis of event structure. It is the external boundary metaphorically encircling a perceived event which determines the temporal scale on which the event is interpreted. The dynamic frame is used in two examples to simplify the analysis of English phenomena: 1) it is shown that semelfactive verbs can be considered a special case of accomplishment verbs and 2) it is shown that the futurate use of the progressive can be analyzed similarly to achievement verbs used in the progressive.


Binnick, R. (1991). Time and the Verb. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Freed, A. (1976). The Semantices of English Aspectual Complementation. PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania.

Jacobsen, W. (1982). Vendler's verb classes and the aspectual character of Japanese `te-iru'. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 8:373-383.

Kindaichi, H. (1950). Kokugo dooshi no ichibunrui [Classification of Japanese verbs]. Gengo Kenkyuu, 15:48-63.

Smith, C. (1991). The Parameter of Aspect. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA.

Vendler, Z. (1967). Linguistics and Philosophy. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.