Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1993 09:44:36 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: some U.S. "Midland" regionalisms It's been very informative following your native postings on stative verbs inflected in the progressive. In the early 1980s, while writing a short monograph "Stativity and the progressive" (Indiana U. Linguistics Club, 1984) I disputed the common claim that stative verbs are not used in the progressive and argued that with the exception of a handful of verbs such as "consist," most stative verbs have progressive uses. Not only verbs such as "feel," which are presented as exceptions, but also verbs such as "believe, trust, hate, love, like," which are commonly not discussed at all. I then faced the problem of how to define the meaning of the progressive, zealously questioning that it meant 'activity in process'. I tried to convince myself then that it means 'transient duration'. Recently, I have been toying with a disjunctive characterization (being more skeptical of "significant generalizations!") in terms of 'process' or 'transient duration', assuming that the unmarked condition for most stative verbs is unspecified duration. I'm still not sure how close I am to being accurate, but it seems to me that for verbs that stand high on the scale of stativity the progressive expresses some marked interpretation. There is variation among the verbs themselves regarding the distance between the unamarked and the marked interpretations, e.g., "I'm trusting Paul (more and more)" vs. "Ed was loving Mary (last summer)" vs. "Carla is feeling wonderful." I didn't suspect as much variation among speakers regarding which marked constructions where (un)acceptable to whom and when. It's so much more informative when some go beyond data-producing and conjecture an explanation. Sali. Salikoko S. Mufwene Linguistics, U. of Chicago s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531