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Reading: Frustration, culmination, and inertia in Kimaragang grammar


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Frustration, culmination, and inertia in Kimaragang grammar


Paul Kroeger

GIAL and SIL Intl., 7500 W, Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas, Texas, US
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The FRUSTRATIVE particle in Kimaragang marks unrealized expectations or intentions, counterfactuals, etc. Copley & Harley (2010) propose a unified account for frustratives, non-culminating accomplishments (‘I killed the snake but it didn’t die’) and the “imperfective paradox”, based on Dowty’s (1979) concept of “inertia”. I argue that this analysis makes the wrong predictions for Kimaragang. The distribution of frustratives and non-culminating accomplishments in Kimaragang reveals a number of differences not predicted by the Copley & Harley analysis. These differences in distribution reflect in part a difference in the kind of expectation that is involved. In non-culminating accomplishments, the unachieved result is specified by the meaning of the verb, whereas frustrative clauses may involve expectations that are based on cultural factors, knowledge of the world, etc. I sketch out an alternative analysis of Kimaragang frustratives which treats expectation and intention as modal concepts.
How to Cite: Kroeger, P. (2017). Frustration, culmination, and inertia in Kimaragang grammar. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 2(1), 56. DOI:
Published on 14 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed


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