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Event Internal Pluractionality in Modern Hebrew: A Semantic Analysis of One Verbal Reduplication Pattern

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This paper examines the semantic effect of reduplication in a subclass of piel verbs in Modern Hebrew, namely quadrilateral reduplicated roots (QRR). It is observed that the verbs in this class share many properties with pluractional verbs cross-linguistically, and consequently, that a pluractionality-based analysis of this verb class is more productive than its characterization as expressing 'iteration' or 'repetition', suggested in the past. More specifically, it is proposed that the verbs in the QRR class express event internal pluractionality, in the original sense proposed by Cusic 1981, which was more formally captured in Wood 2007 and in Tovena & Kihm 2008 as involving a groupification operation on a plurality of subevents. This proposal is motivated by the observation that the QRR verbs denote events which are possibly telic, which can distribute over time and space, but not over participants, and whose subevents must be temporally close to each other. Empirically, these properties have been reported to characterize event internal pluractionals in a variety of languages. Theoretically, they are compatible with a view of such pluractionals as yielding grouped, singular events (following Wood's and Tovena & Kihm's view).

The examination of the Hebrew data contributes to the cross linguistic and theoretical research of pluractionality by supporting certain theories over others (e.g. Wood's 2007 and Tovena & Kihm's 2008 view of event internal pluractionality, over Lasersohn's 1995 view), by questioning existing views about pluractionality (e.g. van Geenhoven's 2004 claim that pluractionality inherently leads to atelicity) and by highlighting some of the open issues and unanswered questions that the study of pluractionality faces.


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