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Begin and start: aspect and complement choice

Author(s): Tünde Nagy

Journal: Bucharest Working Papers in Linguistics
ISSN 2069-9239

Volume: X;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 69;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: begin | start | to infinitive | –ing complements | prototypical meaning | schematic meaning

The paper offers a semantic analysis of begin and start and their non-finite complementation: the to-infinitive and –ing constructions. The core idea of the paper is that the aspectual constructions ‘begin+ to infinitive’, ‘begin + ing’, ‘start+ to infinitive’, and ‘start+ ing’ have both a schematic and a prototypical meaning, and that the subtle differences between them are motivated by several factors, like viewing (perfectivity vs. imperfectivity), temporality (future orientation vs. ongoing reading) dynamicity (graduality vs. abruptness), agentivity, etc.
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