I know this sentence means a change of state because of the verb broke.

John broke the window.

What is the semantic term for this sentence given no change of state occurred?

John viewed the parade.

  • A change of state occurred: the parade got viewed. – Arm the good guys in America Jan 24 '17 at 5:10
  • really, are all transitive verbs are change of state? – Yet A-beyene Jan 24 '17 at 5:25
  • Transformative vs. passive or observational? – aparente001 Jan 24 '17 at 6:19
  • What exactly is the question? Can you give more examples of sentences in the two categories (hopefully with other verbs)? – Mitch Apr 25 '17 at 18:54

This question is asking about aktionsart or lexical aspect. Aktionsart divides verbs into five categories, based on whether they take time or not, whether a change of state occurs, and whether they are telic (have an end point or goal). Wikipedia has a nice simple table showing how these factors combine together.

A screenshot of Wikipedia's table

The window breaking is telic (has a change of state and an end point), and is probably non durative, because breaking glass is very quick. This would make it an achievement. If it was conceptualised more as an event which took time then it would be an accomplishment.

Viewing the parade has duration but is atelic, which makes it an activity.

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