Promotion type

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The type of action (also referred to as action level, phase meaning , situation aspect, situation types , lexical aspect ) is a term from linguistics and describes a classification of verbs that results from the different course and limitation of the specified event. First and foremost, it is about classes of meaning. U. but also correspond to shape classes .

The type of action relates, in the words of the Duden grammar, "to connections between the events or facts identified by the verb and the passage of time", but must be distinguished from the aspect . While the aspect is a morphological- grammatical phenomenon, the type of action belongs to the area of ​​the word meaning of individual verbs. The terms situation aspect or lexical aspect for action type are therefore misleading and must be distinguished from the pure aspect (grammatical aspect, sometimes also perspective aspect ).

The type of action of a verb characterizes, among other things, the course, duration and result of a process. Example:

Er suchte sein Auto zwanzig Minuten lang.
* Er fand sein Auto zwanzig Minuten lang wieder.

The first example sentence is acceptable, you can “look for a car over a period of time”, but you cannot “find a car for hours”. The reason for unacceptability is related to the intrinsic temporal structure of the event expressed by the verb. While “seek” promises a temporally extended event, the verb “re-find” gives expression to a punctual event. This can also be seen in the incompatibility with a durative adverbial of time .

Even if the type of action of a verb is of a lexical nature, it can still be signaled by morphological means on the verb (it is then a word formation , not an inflection), or it can be unmarked and result solely from the meaning of the verb. With its verbal prefixes, German has a lexical means to form variants of a verb stem with different types of action: For example, "fade" denotes the end of the situation, "bloom" (i.e. an egressive type of action) or "start running" the beginning of the action, which is referred to as "running" (ingressive type of action); In contrast, “bloom” and “run” are durative verbs per se. This is how types of actions are expressed in verb meaning; Aspects, on the other hand, are grammaticalized and expressed through contrasts between verb forms (i.e. in the verbal paradigm ). As the examples show, German has no aspect in the stated sense.

There are analogies to the type of action in the field of nouns , namely in the distinction between countable nouns and mass expressions (such as substance names ). A noun can stand for a delimited object, such as “apple”, or for a homogeneous aggregate, e.g. B. "Applesauce". This contrast is similar to that between the punctual verb “find” and the durative verb “seek”.

Overview: meaning classes of verbs

Verbs can be grouped into meaning classes, depending on how the event expressed by the verb takes place, i.e. what the internal course, the extent and the result of a process are. A main distinction is that between state verbs and process verbs or activity verbs . While verbs of state denote situations without dynamics or activity and without a target point, such as “possess” or “lie”, verbs of operation refer to events that contain dynamic processes.

The assignment of the verbs to the individual classification schemes created by Vendler or other authors remains "ambiguous" in many cases, so that individual verbs can be subsumed in different classes. - Examples: The following sentence allows two readings :

 „Karl geht zur Arbeit.“

Although both readings are “dynamic” and “durative”, the sentence can be interpreted generically as “atelic”, the other time as “telic”, i.e. the verb “to go” in its event without an end point or as a verb of an event with a natural endpoint.

 Karl übt die Tätigkeit des Auf-die-Arbeit-Gehens aus. Activities atelisch.
 Karl legt im Moment den Weg von irgendwo zu seiner Arbeit zurück. Accomplishment telisch.

Howard B. Garey (1957) introduced the distinction “ atelic ” and “telic”. Atelic verbs designate processes and facts that are not border-related. This also includes the state verbs. Telic verbs, on the other hand, are verbal processes that are border-related. This would imply reaching a target point, an end in experience, knowledge, experience or action processes.

Zénó Vendler (1957/1967) distinguished four basic classes as follows:

  • Activities ( english activity ), activities: These are dynamic , durative and atelisch . Examples: “walking”, “drinking”, “riding a bike”, “falling”, “running”, “learning”, “drawing circles”, “eating ice cream”, “hiking”, “working”, “laughing”, “ sleep ”,“ sit ”,“ turn ”,“ explain ”,“ say ”;
  • Accomplishments ( English accomplishment ): gradual changes of state or predicates of an extended state change, they denote eventualities that are dynamic, durative and telic . Examples: “draw a circle”, “eat an ice cream”, “climb on”, “get healthy”, “run to work”, “sink”, “climb on”, “shake up”, “drive to Bremen”, “on the Go up the hill ”,“ bloom ”,“ burn ”,“ eat the pizza ”;
  • Achievements ( English achievement ) achievement, Erlangen, Power: selective state change. These are situations that are dynamic, punctual, and telic . Examples: "recognize", "find something", "win the lottery", "fall asleep", "wake up", "win the race", "explode", "arrive", "blush"
  • States ( English state ), states: These are situations that have no internal dynamics and therefore certainly do not strive towards any goal. Examples: “know”, “love”, “be healthy”, “own a house”, “be in the city”, “lie”, “be”, “live”, “hot”, “shine”, “ to burn ”,“ to be dead ”;

An activity is an action that can be continued at will without changing its essence, in which the activity shares a property with the states ; therefore the activities and the states can also be described as atelic. In contrast to accomplishments, activities and states are not aimed at achieving a goal. An accomplishment, on the other hand, cannot be continued indefinitely.

phasic (can be broken down into phases) telisch (define condition for the end, cannot be continued at will) selective (without effects of temporal expansion) Time frame adverbials Duration adverbials
Activity Yes No No No Yes
Accomplishment Yes Yes No yes (interpretation: event in the interval) No
Achievement No Yes Yes yes (interpretation: event at the end of the interval) No
State No No No No Yes

To the conceptual history

The terms “ aspect ” and “type of action” (also type of action , type of time ) were used in the 19th century for similar phenomena, sometimes even synonymously. The term “Aktionart” was originally coined by Karl Brugmann (1885). It replaced the term “Zeitart” coined by Georg Curtius .

In 1908, the Slavist Sigurd Agrell (1881–1937) first differentiated the two terms:

“By type of action I […] do not understand the two main categories of the Slavic verb, the unfinished and the completed action form (the imperfect and the perfective) - these I call aspects . With the expression type of action I mean hitherto almost neglected - let alone classified - meaning functions of verbal compounds […], which express more precisely how the action is performed, mark the way it is carried out. "

This definition was widely used in Slavic studies ; As a substitute for the use of action type for the semantic basic meaning of a verb, the Slavist Alexander Issachenko proposed the term verbal character in 1962 . In the rest of linguistics , however, the term type of action continued to be used to identify both the “semantic” type of action inherent in a verb and (especially in classical philology ) for the classification of the semantic differences between different conjugation forms. Wendt, for example, distinguishes the aspects determined by subjective intuition from the objective types of action and refers, for example, to the occasional realization of the aspect in two different words in the Slavic languages.

In recent linguistics, the distinction of aspect as a grammatical term of inflection morphology and syntax vs. Action type as a lexical term of the derivative morphology and for the semantic classification of verbs. Occasionally it has even been suggested to drop the term type of action entirely and to differentiate only between the “grammatical category aspect”, “aspectual classification of verbs” and “aspectual verbs”. The discussion about the use of the term type of action is still ongoing.

In contrast to the term aspect, the English language occasionally uses manner of action in addition to action type , in Spanish one uses clase de acción o modo de acción , Polish speaks of rodzaj czynności , the French term caractère de l'action has not caught on .

Overview of the types of action

The technical terms for the type of action are not always precisely delimited and vary depending on the linguistic subject. The criteria for differentiating between the types of action are also controversial; sometimes categories can also overlap. The following overview is based on Metzler.

  • Durative (Latin: durare , "to last", other terms aterminative , continuative , italic ) describes a situation whose temporal expansion is indefinite and lasts for a certain period of time.
    • Delimitativ (Latin: delimitatus , "weakened") describes a process that lasts for a certain time, for example in Russian: читать (chitat ') "read", почитать (potschitat') "read a little".
    • Progressive (Latin: progredi , "advance", also Continuative ; English: also continuous ) expresses a process that is currently in progress. In some languages ​​the progressive is an aspect category, see progressive form . In Romance languages ​​and in German, however, there are constructions like being there to do something that are not a developed grammatical aspect.
    • Perdurative (Latin: perdurare , "to last ") describes a continuous process or state with a conclusion, example in Russian: спать (spat ') "to sleep", проспать всю ночь (prospat' wsju notsch ') "to sleep all night", " sleep through the night ".
    • Iterative (Latin: iterare , "repeat", also frequent , repetitive , multiplicative ) denotes a process that is composed of individual repetitions; for example “knocking for 5 minutes”.
    • Incrementive (Latin: incrementum , "growth") denotes an increasing process, example span. Fue comprendiendo "was increasingly understanding".
    • Atelic (Greek: α- un-, not; τέλος goal, end) verbs that designate states or relations, or dynamic processes, or activities that do not designate a culmination or end point, "bloom", "live" , "dream"
  • Punctual ( punctual ) summarizes types of action that designate a completed, sudden process or the start or end point of a process
    • Momentary refers to a one-time, currently running process.
    • Semelfaktiv (Latin: semel , once; facere , to make) describes a singular, one-time process that could be repeated, for example (once) knocking
    • Ingressive (Latin: ingressum , "begun", also Initiv ) describes the beginning of an action, one turns attention to the starting point of the action, which is understood as a holistic, self-contained event (beginning), example in Italian avevo "I had ( durative) ":" I owned "vs. ebbi "I had (ingressive)": "I got".
    • Imminentiell (Latin: imminentia , the threatening): expresses imminent actions (preparation).
    • Inchoativ (Latin: incoativum , "beginning", English: inceptive , also inceptive ) denotes the gradual beginning of an action, example in ancient Greek: ἐράω (eraō) "I love", ἠράσθην (erasthēn) "I fell in love"; "Run off"
    • Evolutiv (Latin evolutum , "developed") refers to the initial phase of an operation or development to the process, dt. Sprout to germinate
    • Mutative (Latin: mutare , (change) change, also transformative ) denotes a change in state, for example getting sick ~ getting sick
    • Egressive (Latin: egressum , gone out, also effective ) denotes the end of a process (completion), German example: wither to bloom
    • Resultative or conclusive (Latin: resultatum , "result") denotes the end or result of a process (completion) that concludes the process, example (Greek θνῄσκειν thnēskein , durative) "(im) die (lie)", τεθνηκέναι ( tethnēketai , resultative) "(Died and now) to be dead", "climb"
    • Finitive (Latin: finire , "to end") denotes the (also sudden) end of a process, example dt. To disappear, to dwindle .
    • Completive (Latin completus , completed) denotes the completion of a process, example Russian писать (pisat ') "write", дописывать (dopisyvat') "finish writing"
    • Distributive (Latin: distribuere "to distribute") describes the result of an action that has taken place several times, example Russian болеть (bolet ') "to suffer", "to be sick", переболеть (perebolet') to be "sick one after the other"
    • Gnomish (Greek γνώμη (gnōmē) , "opinion", "knowledge") denotes a completed, multiple action with regard to its generally valid , proverbial meaning, for example: "You have seen horses throw up in front of the pharmacy".
    • Telisch (Greek: τέλος goal, end) are verbs when they express the facts of an event lasting over a certain period of time with a beginning or an end phase. Or represent the sequence of factually related events. If they describe events with a natural (starting) end point.
  • Types of action that express the degree of intensity or other qualitative functions
    • Attenuative (Latin: attenuatum , "weakened"), denotes a weaker or more harmless quality than the basic verb : Italian: cantare "to sing", canterellare "to trill ", "to sing to oneself"
    • Causative (Latin: causa , "cause") denotes the cause of an action, German to fall to "to fall". It is expressed as a conjugation form in Sanskrit, the Semitic and Turkish languages.
    • Factitive (Latin: factio "doing", "acting") describes an action that causes a change of state, examples dt. Drying , emptying
    • Intensive iteratively describes a process as tedious or difficult russ example. Писать '(pisat) "writing", выписать (vypisat') "write out" выписывать (vypisyvat ') "tedious letters paint"
    • Intensiv-semelfaktiv describes a violent process that is unique compared to the meaning of the basic verb, example Russian толкать (tolkat ') "to bump", толкнуть (tolknut') "to push", толкануть (tolkanut ') "to bump into"
    • Diminutive-iterative (Latin diminuere , "to decrease", in German studies also desidertive) describes a process that is repeated regularly and several times, but with less intensity, example dt. Guess - puzzle
    • Cumulative (Latin: cumulus , "accumulation") denotes that the action relates to a set of objects, example Russian нарвать (narwat ') "to pick", нарывать (цветов) (naryvat' tswetow) "a lot (flowers) pick"
    • Total (Latin: totus , "whole") denotes a type of action that includes the whole or all objects, example Russian писать (pisat ') "write", исписывать (ispisyvat') "write full"
    • Desiderative (Latin: desiderare , “longing”) describes the wish that a process should occur, for example Latin: edere “eat”, esurire “want to eat; to be hungry". The Sanskrit desiderative is not commonly referred to as a type of action.
    • Conative (Latin: conari , "try") has a semantic function similar to that of the desiderative; it denotes the attempt, the effort to make something happen, for example in Latin: abibat "he tried to go away", "he wanted to go away"

Forms of the action type

Types of action in word formation

If the type of action is not made visible by a special marker, it is assumed that it is part of the lexical meaning of the verb stem. Verbs that do not express a specific type of action are called action type neutral, for example the verba simplicia , the basic verbs of the Slavic languages. Whether in German every verb expresses a type of action or only certain or only derived actions is controversial.

For example, the verb to rest describes a state (durative), while the verb to find a one-off event (punctual). The verb to open describes the change in a state (mutative), while open describes the cause of a process (causative). In German there are verb pairs that represent different types of action in a process:

  • die - kill (causative) "cause someone to die"

The language has developed various formative (morphological) means to form verbs of various types of action. These means include changes to the word stem ( stand - put , "make that something stands"), changing the stem vowel (umlaut, fall - fall , "cause something to fall", or ablaut - often with umlaut - "drink" - "soak",) "let someone drink" appending (Suffigieren) of certain sounds or syllables to the stem ( cough - cough , "always a little cough") or the attachment of syllables or other words, the latter as a composition designated is ( run - start walking , "running start" - continue , "continue to walk"). The Slavic languages ​​have developed a complex system of expressing types of action through morphological derivations ( derivations ), so the Slavic classifications of the types of action are extremely differentiated.

Verbal prefixes in German often have an influence on the type of action of a verb. For example, the use of the prefix “er” in verbs like “awakening” changes the type of action from activity (“wachen”: dynamic, durative and atelic) to achievement (“awakening”: dynamic, punctual and telic).

In Hebrew , seven verb stems (binjanim) are derived from a mostly three-consonant basic stem , with them, among other things, the gender verbi , but also types of action such as intensive or causative (radicals קפצ kp-tz ; qal inf. Abs. קפוץ kāpōtz "jump "; Causative inf. Abs. הקפיץ hakpētz " let jump "," make jump ").

Types of action in conjugation and syntax

However, types of actions can also be expressed in some languages ​​by using a verb in different forms ( inflection ) or by defining it in more detail using other words. The perfect form dixi (“I have spoken”) from Latin dicere (“to speak”) can mean that the speaker has said everything necessary and does not want to add anything more, so the perfect tense form expresses a resultant type of action. The ancient and modern Greek verbal systems also express different types of action in the tenses .

Types of action as separate categories for conjugation can be found in many languages, for example in Sanskrit or Turkish . Examples:

  • Turkish beklemek wait - let bekletmek wait (causative)
  • Sanskrit rauti "he screams" - rorūyate "he screams repeatedly" (frequentative) or "he screams very hard" (intense)

If the type of action is not expressed in the form of a single word, one speaks of periphrastic (Greek περίφρασις periphrasis description) or analytical education. For example, the German expression I was reading describes the progressive type of action or the periphrase commencer à + infinitive in French the inchoative type of action. This type of education is of particular importance for languages ​​of the analytic and isolating type that have no actual inflection. Chinese, for example, uses its own words that have lost their original meaning and now mark the type of action behind the verb term.

Finally, the type of action can also be expressed through a more detailed, adverbial definition of the verb, as in the expression “ Suddenly I saw him” (see also table on the types of action in German). The types of action determine the interpretative conclusions that a recipient (listener, reader) can draw from a sentence, since the truth of a proposition depends on the time period or event limitation (especially) of the verb to which it refers .

Types of action and temporal adverbs

States (states) and activities (activities, processes) are compatible with duration adverbials, whereas achievements (selective change of state) and accomplishments (gradual change of state) are usually not, i.e. H. not without shifting the meaning.

Agilmar war eine Woche lang in der Stadt.
Ciela aß acht Minuten lang Eis.
* Friedrich trank eine Stunde lang ein Bier.
* Sengül verließ eine Stunde lang die Universität.

Accomplishments are compatible with time frame adverbials. The action types states , activities and achievements are not:

Agilmar trank in einer Stunde ein Bier.
* Ciela war in einer Stunde in der Stadt.
* Friedrich aß in fünf Minuten Eis.
* Sengül verließ in zehn Minuten die Universität.

States and achievements are directly compatible with time adverbials or position adverbials. Activities and accomplishments, however, usually do not.

Agilmar war genau um 8:00 Uhr in der Turnhalle.
Ciela verließ genau in diesem Moment den Sportplatz.
* Friedrich aß genau in dieser Sekunde Eis.
* Sengül trank genau um Mitternacht ein Bier.

Types of actions in different languages

Indo-European languages


The Ancient Greek is one of the languages in which types of action in grammatically realized aspect expressed -Categories (as presumably the original Indo-European ). Two of these aspects occur in a present and a past tense, the aoristic aspect in the indicative only exists as a past tense. The future tense of ancient Greek is a pure time stage and does not express any specific type of action or aspect.

The following table gives a rough assignment of grammatical aspects to types of action:

aspect imperfective / paratatic perfective / aoristic perfect / resultant grammatically non- deictic completed, completed / unfinished; "Situation-internal time (grammatical aspect)" (Comire 1976) syntactic or inflected
Action types durativ
Frequentative / iteratively
egressive / effectively
inchoative / ingressive
resultant lexical non-deictic Way of acting lexical
Tempora Present tense, past tense Aorist Perfect, past perfect grammatically deictic "Situation-external time (tense)" (Comire 1976) syntactic or inflected

The modern Greek language systematized the system of aspects of ancient Greek and expanded it to all time levels (up to the present). The morphological- flective aspect differentiation is still a linguistically productive means of differentiating and expressing types of action. For example, the verb form “κοιμήθηκε” (kimíthike) expresses an inchoative or ingressive type of action with the aorist and must be translated into German as “he fell asleep”. The durative "he slept" is expressed in modern Greek with "κοιμόταν" (kimótan) in the imperfective aspect (see also Paratatikos ). The verb sleep itself semantically stands for a permanent action in both languages. In order to express a different type of action than the one inherent in it, the verb is changed morphologically in German, while in Greek it is placed in a different grammatical aspect.

Slavic languages

Action type-specific derivatives were formed in Old Church Slavonic , the oldest Slavic language form documented in writing. In the verbs of movement, a morphological distinction is made between a terminative and an aterminative type of action ( iti , chod-iti "to go", nesti , nos-i-ti "to carry"). The aterminative had an iterative or causative meaning. In the latter form, one speaks of indeterminate , in the terminative form of determined . The binary aspect system of the modern Slavic languages ​​was formed on the morphological basis of these old Slavic types of action.

In modern Slavic languages , types of action are expressed through an abundance of affixes , which in many ways can give additional meaning to the concept of the initial verb, while retaining the original meaning of the initial verb.

They are realized morphologically through prefixes , infixes and suffixes , changes of sounds and accents, whereby different types of action can be expressed through the same educational scheme (examples from Russian ):

  • Prefix + phonetic change: идти idti "go" - по-йти pojti "go off"
  • Infix + phonetic change: прыгать prygat ' "jump" - прыг-ну-ть prygnut "jump once"
  • Prefix + infix: пить pit ' "drink" - по-пи-ва-ть popiwat "drink a sip from time to time"
  • Prefix + suffix: болтать boltat ' " chat " - раз-болтать-ся rasboltatsja "to chat "

Usually the grammatical aspect also alternates between the basic verb and the derivative, that is, the imperfective verb “go” becomes the perfect “start”.

Example of types of actions that are expressed in the Polish prefix po- :

  • inchoativ: kochać "to love" - pokochać "to love", "to fall in love"
  • ingressive: jechać "drive" - pojechać " drive off"
  • distributive: wiązać "bind" - powiązać "(many, all) tie"
  • delimitative: czytać "read" - poczytać "read a little"
  • resultative: grzebać "dig" - pogrzebać "buried"

In some verbs, however, the prefix po- simply denotes the perfect aspect, for example błogosławić "bless" (imp.) - pobłogosławić "bless" (perf.), So it is used here as "purely aspectual". In this case, Slavonic studies do not speak of the type of action. There is also a tendency in Slavic studies to dispense with the term type of action and to speak of the “function of the derivative”, for example.

A Ukrainian double prefix popo- is used for the expression of the recurring intensive.

Romance languages

With the development of the Romance languages, the tendency to express types of action syntactically increased. Nevertheless, in addition to the further developments of Latin derivatives, there are also post-Latin morphological derivatives of basic verbs, for example in French ( -et , frequentative-diminutive: craquer "krachen", "crack" - craqu-et-er "crackling"; -el , causative craqu -el-er "to crack", "damage", -ot , frequentative-iterative: siffler "whistle" siffl-ot-er "whistle to himself") or in Italian ( -icchi , -acchi , mostly with attenuative ( attenuating) meaning: dormire "sleep" - dormicchiare "slumber", bruciare "burn" - bruciacchiare "burn").

In Spanish , a synthetic marking of the type of action is rarer, compared to the analytical representation in verbal phrases . The reason for this is that many of the synthetically formed action type verbs in Spanish are highly lexicalized .


A common classification in German studies is as follows. The categories are partly based on morphology and derivation, partly purely semantically and partly also syntactically based.

  • The main action categories. The terms durative / non-durative often appear here , i.e. H. one category is determined negatively. Instead of 'durative', the expressions aterminative, continuous, italic, immutative, incomplete, atelic , most often imperfect, appear . For 'non-durative', German studies also has the expressions terminative, mutative, completed, telic , most often perfective .

The actional category of the imperfective characterizes a process that does not strive for a result that differs from the initial state, but simply ends as it began: sleep , wake up , live , meditate , contemplate . On the other hand, perfective processes change constantly and end in one result: fall asleep , wake up , die , rise , behold .

Lexically , many verbs can be assigned to one or the other group. In Old High German but also in Middle High German , the prefixes ga- and gi- are used in front of the verbs to convert imperfective verb forms into perfective “I saw” permanent seeing, imperfectively to “I saw”, I saw, perfective.

The delimitation criteria are often the following:

  • Durative verbs rel. Something unfinished, unfinished, permanent, non-durative verbs, on the other hand, are characterized by their meaning through temporal limitation and purposefulness
  • Durative verbs go well with permanent adverbials like 'one hour long', non-durative verbs, however, not, but rather with temporal adverbials like in an hour : "She looked for the key for an hour", but: * "She found the key for an hour" ; rather "she found the key in an hour "
  • Non-durative verbs form both passive forms ( "The key is / is found "), while just a durative be -Passive ( "The key is searched ," but * "The key is searched ")
  • Non-durative verbs tend more towards the so-called futuric present tense than durative
  • Durative verbs often form their perfect forms with haben (except to be and remain , verbs of movement, as well as stand , lie and sit in the southern German-speaking area )

For the following classification cf. in particular.

Subcategories of the durative types of action

The sub-categories of durative action types are:

  • The iterative type of action that mar. That something repeated several times (on a regular basis, usually) occurs, for example taunt ~, often sting '
  • The intensive type of action. You re. an event that is characterized by high (increased) intensity, for example carving ~ 'strongly cutting'
  • The deminutive (also called: attenuative ) type of action. It marks events of lower (reduced) intensity, for example prancing ~ 'dancing a little'
  • The intransformative type of action. Verbs of this type referring to the fact that nothing explicitly changes in the given state, for example keep
Subcategories of non-durative verbs

The sub-categories of the non-durative action types are:

  • The inchoative (synonyms: ingressive, inceptive, initive ) type of action. It points to a beginning, a (gradual) beginning, the exit from an old state and the entry into a new state. Occasionally, the terms 'inchoative / inceptive' and 'ingressive / initative' are differentiated by defining the former as the type of action of the gradual beginning and the latter as the type of action of the sudden onset ( falling asleep vs. splashing up ).
  • The resultative (other technical terms: conclusive (somewhat outdated), effective, egressive as well as terminative, perfective, telic, finitive, delimitative ) type of action. Resultative verbs rel. the exit from one state (but not the entry into a new one) plus the course and should be recognizable from the fact that its “imperfective variant does not imply the perfective one” (Lexicon of Linguistics, entry 'resultative'), for example “The house is on burning ”does not imply that the house will be completely burned in the end. There is less often a distinction between 'gradually' and 'suddenly' ( burn vs. find = 'no longer be in the state of searching'), whereby the former is called conclusive (resultative), the latter as egressive .

'Resultative' and 'inchoative' are now and then combined transformatively or mutatively , but it also happens that 'transformative' is used as a separate type of action for verbs such as rust and then parallel to 'perfective, mutative' and / or 'resultative' ' is used.

  • It is also common in German grammars to summarize types of actions of the sudden change of state as punctual or momentary . Corresponding verbs only form ungrammatical sentences with permanent adverbials: * "She groans for an hour " / * "He finds the solution for an hour "? This is because such verbs indicate a quick change of situation.

These are the most frequently mentioned categories. Types of action such as the comitative, the conative, the distributive and many others are not mentioned in German grammars, from which it can be concluded that the Slavic classifications of the types of action are much more precise and differentiated.

Now to the means of how the individual types of action can be expressed in German. The starting point is derivations -morphologischen , analytical and syntactical means. The first classification includes affix formations / compounds, the second verb complexes with auxiliary verb + one of the three infinitive types (pure, to -infinitive, substantiated infinitive) and the third adverbs additions and so on. a.

DURATIVE TYPE OF ACTION questionable: Toggle in to take Choosing a prepositional object instead of an accusative object ( writing a novel ) adverbs such as uninterrupted, pause-free, etc.
Iterative action type Suffix -ln and possibly vowel change ( dropfools l n ) Additions with verb + verb (e.g. "he ran and ran "), adverbs such as several times, often u. a.
Intense type of action expressive consonant sharpening ( hearlisten ) Adverbs like strong, violent, very
Deminutive type of action Suffix -ln , possible vowel change - Affections like a little, a little
Intransformative type of action Verb particle further- stay + on + infinitive, stay + infinitive (also referred to as absentive construction ) Additions as always, still among others
Semi-active type of action Only recognizable in the context of the sentence ("he sees a cat" vs. "he likes to see his cat")
Inchoative type of action Prefixes as corresponds , ER ( ent flame ) verb particles as go of ( going through ) begin / begin + to -infinitive (also called phase verb construction ) Additions such as gradually gradually u. a.
Resultative action type Prefixes as comparable ( ver bloom ) stop + to -infinitive (also called phase verb construction ) Addictions like no more u. a.

The expression of the other types of action listed under 'non-durative' depends on adverbs.

Non-Indo-European languages


The Chinese languages , which are generally classified as isolating , do not change verbs in the sense of the inflection, but there are "words" (or syllables) that do not express any terms in themselves, i.e. cannot be assessed as independent lexemes, but as morphemes of a word that the basic meaning carries, follow and thus express different grammatical categories.

The Chinese languages ​​have no morphemes for expressing time levels, but numerous for expressing the types of action, whereby in Chinese nouns and adjectives are also used as verbs and these morphemes can then also be provided.

Examples from standard Chinese :

morpheme Promotion type Example sentence transcription translation
le perfect-resultative 我 當 了 兵. wǒ dāng le bīng "I became a soldier (and still am)"
guo "Experience" -perfective 我 當 過 兵. wǒ dāng guo bīng "I was (already) a soldier"
zhèngzài / zài dynamic-imperfective
我 正在 掛畫. wǒ zhèng zài guà huà "I'm just hanging up pictures"
zhe static imperfect
牆上 掛著 一 幅畫. qiáng shàng guà zhe yī fú huà "A picture was on the wall"

The delimitative aspect is expressed by reduplicating the verb: 走zǒu “to go”, 走走zǒu zǒu “to take a little walk”.


The verb system of the Japanese language makes a very clear distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs that occur in pairs and are morphologically ( synthetically ) derived from each other. Semantically, these pairs mainly express a causative / anti-causative meaning. The progressive form expresses a durative type of action in intransitive verbs and a progressive type of action in transitive verbs.


Web links

Wiktionary: Action type  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden - The grammar. Indispensable for correct German. 8th edition. (= Duden, Volume 4). Bibliographisches Institut, Mannheim 2009, ISBN 978-3-411-04048-3 , p. 408.
  2. Bernd Kortmann: The Triad "Tense-Aspect-Aktionart". Problems and possible solutions. In: Carl Vetters (Ed.): Perspectives on aspect and Aktionart. Belgian journal of linguistics, 6th, Ed. de l'Univ. de Bruxelles, Bruxelles 1991, pp. 9-27.
  3. ^ Carola S. Smith: The Parameter of Aspect. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1991 is an example of a differentiation between “situation aspect” and perspective aspect (viewpoint aspect) .
  4. not grammatically well-formed expressions are in linguistics preceded by a star ( Asterisk indicated).
  5. ^ Thea Schippan: Lexicology of the German contemporary language. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1992, ISBN 3-484-73002-1 , p. 46.
  6. ^ Groups of meanings for verbs. In: canoonet . Retrieved September 26, 2019 .
  7. ^ Howard B. Garey: Verbal aspect in French. In: Language. 33, 1957, pp. 91-110.
  8. ^ Zeno Vendler : Verbs and Times. The Philosophical Review 66: 2, (1957) pp. 143-160.
  9. ^ Zeno Vendler: Linguistics in Philosophy. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY 1967, ISBN 0-8014-0436-3 .
  10. ^ Carola S. Smith: The Parameter of Aspect. Volume 43 of Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1991.
  11. Éva Kardos: Aspectual classes: past and present. In: Argumentum. 9, 2013, pp. 200-210 Debreceni Egyetemi Kiadó
  12. Activities compare activity verbs
  13. Accomplishments compare activity verbs
  14. Achievements compare process verbs
  15. States compare state verbs
  16. Table after Erwin Tschirner: Action classes in New High German. Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics, Peter Lang Publishing, New York 1991, ISBN 0-8204-1340-2 , p. 22.
  17. The American psycholinguist Steven Pinker : The Stuff that Thinking is Made of. What language reveals about our nature. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2014, ISBN 978-3-10-061605-0 , pp. 259-260 sees in his interpretation of Vendler's terminology that the state is not only characterized by a lack of change, but also by itself access would evade conscious control. While the verbs expressing a punctual culmination, achievement did not go together with the adverbs of endeavor. Nor could it contain verbs of the initiation of an action or the imperative. On the other hand, the verbs that reflect a completion in a goal, accomplishment , could be placed in the imperative and one could put adverbs of will to them. Activities, activity but also accomplishment verbs are commonly understood as willful, influenceable events.
  18. ^ Karl Brugmann: Greek grammar. 4th, possibly. Edition. Beck, Munich 1913 (1st edition 1885).
  19. Aspect and type of action (type of time, verbal character). Krifka / Hock: Aspect and Constitution of Time WS 2002/2003
  20. Roland Harweg: Studies on the verb and its environment. Volume 7: Language - Communication - Reality. LIT Verlag, Münster 2014, ISBN 978-3-643-12597-2 , p. 224.
  21. Sigurd Agrell : Aspect change and action type formation in the Polish verbs. Lund 1908, quoted from Krifka / Hock: Aspect and Constitution of Time. (PDF; 135 kB).
  22. Alexander Isatschenko: The Russian language of the present. Halle (Saale) 1962.
  23. ^ Karl Bayer , Josef Lindauer : Latin grammar. 1974, ISBN 3-87488-635-2 .
  24. ^ Heinz F. Wendt: The Fischer Lexicon - Languages. Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-596-24561-3 .
  25. Bernd Kortmann : The triad "tense - aspect - action type". Brussels 1991.
  26. ^ Hans-Jürgen Sasse : Aspect and action type. Brussels 1991.
  27. a b Helmut Glück (Ed.): Metzler-Lexikon Sprach. Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-476-00937-8 .
  28. Steven Pinker : The Stuff Thought Is Made Of . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2014, ISBN 978-3-10-061605-0 , p. 251.
  29. ^ Bernard Comrie: Aspect. An Introduction To The Study Of Verbal Aspect And Related Problems. ( Memento of February 2, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1976, ISBN 0-521-21109-3 .
  30. "Tense is a deictic category, he locates situations in time (...). Aspect is not concerned with relating the time of the situation to any other time-point, but rather with the internal temporal constituency of the one situation; one could state the difference as one between situation-internal time (aspect) and situation-external time (tense). "(Comrie 1976, p. 5)
  31. Henrik Birnbaum , Jos Schaeken: The Old Church Slavonic word: education - meaning - derivation. Munich 1997, ISBN 3-87690-668-7 . ( (online) ( Memento from August 31, 2003 in the Internet Archive ))
  32. Martin Joachim Kümmel : Basics and history of the European verbal systems . Lecture manuscript, Freiburg 2006. ( (online) ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ))
  33. ^ Herbert Mulisch: Handbook of the Russian contemporary language. Leipzig 1993, ISBN 3-324-00325-3 .
  34. Tanja Anstatt : The verbal prefix po- in Polish. In: Journal for Slavic Philology. 62/2, pp. 359-385. (online; PDF; 203 kB)
  35. ^ Arne Ziegler: Historical text grammar and historical syntax of German: Traditions, innovations, perspectives. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-021994-4 , pp. 227-232.
  36. Werner Besch (Hrsg.): Sprachgeschichte: a handbook for the history of the German language and its research. Part 3, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-11-015883-3 , p. 2520.
  37. Type of campaign at Canoonet
  38. Hadumod Bußmann: Lexicon of Linguistics (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 452). 2nd, completely revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-520-45202-2 .
  39. Duden - The grammar. 7th edition. Mannheim 2005, ISBN 3-411-04047-5 .