Event realization and default aspect
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There are languages – e.g., German, Inuktitut, and Russian – in which the aspectual reference of clauses depends on the telicity of their event predicates. We argue that in such languages, clauses or verb phrases not overtly marked for viewpoint aspect implicate or entail ‘event realization’, a property akin to Parsons’s (1990) ‘culmination’. The aspectual reference associated with the use of clauses not overtly marked for aspect is computed in accordance with the dependence of realization conditions on telicity and in line with principles of Gricean pragmatics. We formalize event realization and capture the telicity-dependent patterns of aspectual reference on which it is based by combining Krifka’s (1989, 1992, 1998) event lattices with a model-theoretic interpretation of Klein’s (1994) theory of tense and aspect. The latter permits us to treat the ‘topic times’ of aspectual operators as temporal constraints on event realization.