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Verb Classification Expert About verb classification

Based on a verb's internal temporal features, this expert system helps you classify a verb into one of the following four categories. Note that '+' means having a feature while '-' means lacking a feature. See the right for the definitions of these features and more examples.

Verb category Temporal features Example
  dynamicity telicity durativity  
State verb - - + possess, own, be, contain
Activity verb + - + walk, run, work, swim
Accomplishment verb + + + write a novel,draw a circle
Achivement verb + + - arrive, cough, jump, push

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    A verb has its inherent temporal semantic features, such as stativity vs. dynamicity, atelicity vs. telicity, durativity vs. punctuality, etc.

    Verbs like "believe" and "live" have the stativity semantic feature while verbs like "go" and "draw" have the dynamicity feature. Verbs like "draw" and "paint" have the atelicity feature while "draw a picture" and "paint a door" have telicity. Finally, all of the preceding verbs have the feature of durativity but verbs like "arrive", "die" and "finish" have the feature of punctuality. A situation described by a verb has some of these semantic features as well. A situation is telic if it has an intrinsic endpoint, otherwise it is atelic; it is dynamic if it needs energy for its maintenance, otherwise it is stative; and it is punctual if the starting point and the ending point collapse into one; otherwise it is durative.

     Based on their temporal properties, Vendler (1967) classified verbs into state verbs, activity verbs, accomplishment verbs, and achievement verbs.

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