Static and dynamic states: the case of Estonian stative colour expressions


  • Geda Paulsen



The aim of this study is to account for stative situations through the example of structurally different but semantically close colour expressions: the Estonian stative verbs derived from colour adjectives and colour adjectives appearing as the predicative. Stative verbs are assumed to be similar to copula constructions, with the aspectual distinction of temporary/permanent property. In this article, the stative colour expressions are analysed using the linguistic diagnostics developed for the determination of ontological properties of different types of states – the sc. Davidsonian and Kimian states (see e.g. Maienborn 2003). Analysis reveals that the copula construction with colour adjective as predicative is ambiguous, inclining to the Kimian states but also assigning properties characteristic to the Davidsonian states; the stative colour verbs, in turn, are true examples of Davidsonian states. In addition to the examination of the stative properties, the conceptual structure analysis of the colour expressions instantiating stative and dynamic states is given. The observer’s evaluation of the coloured object as a mental image is treated as part of the lexical information of the colour statives. Also, sentential and contextual phenomena of the colour statives are discussed.


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How to Cite

Paulsen, G. (2012). Static and dynamic states: the case of Estonian stative colour expressions. Eesti Ja Soome-Ugri Keeleteaduse Ajakiri. Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, 3(1), 9–46.