The telic-atelic distinction plays a crucial role in the aspectual classification of verbs, which are defined respectively as accomplishment and achievement on the one hand, and states and activities on the other, based on the well-known four-way Vendlerian classification. Despite the relevance of such a distinction in the aspect literature, scholars do not share an unambiguous definition of telicity, mostly because different theoretical perspectives are behind each single definition. The aim of this paper is to trace back to the Aristotelian distinction between κίνησις and ἐνέργεια, which is traditionally considered as the starting point of the telic-atelic dichotomy. A closer scrutiny of Aristotelian texts will show an unexpected correspondence between κίνησις/ἐνέργεια and telic/atelic in linguistic theory. It will be argued how this contradiction originates from a different interpretation of Aristoteles’ term τέλος in the metalanguage of linguistics.
|Title of host publication||Metalinguaggio. Storia e statuto dei costrutti della linguistica.|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Name||LINGUE, LINGUAGGI, METALINGUAGGIO|