The grammar of 'non-realization'

Kuteva, Tania; Aarts, Bas; Popova, Gergana and Abbi, Anvita. 2019. The grammar of 'non-realization'. Studies in Language, 43(4), pp. 850-895. ISSN 0378-4177 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

On the basis of cross-linguistic data from both genetically and geographically related and un-related languages, in this article we argue that the linguistic phenomena usually referred to as the avertive, the frustrative and the apprehensional belong not to three but to five–semantically related, and yet distinct, grammatical categories, all of which involve different degrees of non-realization of the verb situation in the area of Tense-Aspect-Mood: apprehensional; avertive; frustrated initiation; frustrated completion; inconsequential. Our major goal here is to account for these grammatical categories in terms of an adequate model of linguistic categorization. For this purpose, we apply the notion of Intersective Gradience (introduced for the first time in the morphosyntactic domain in Aarts (2004, 2007) to the morphosemantic domain. Thus the present approach reconciles two major approaches to linguistic categorization: (i) the classical, Aristotelian approach and (ii) a more recent, gradience/fuzziness approach.

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Identification Number (DOI):


apprehensional, avertive, frustrated initiation, frustrated completion, inconsequential, linguistic categorization, semantically elaborate grammatical categories.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


27 November 2019Accepted
23 January 2020Published Online
December 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

06 Dec 2019 10:28

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 23:36

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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