I'm currently working on the verbal morphology of my language and was wondering the following :

  • How are action verbs differentiated from state ones ?
  • Is it even a necessity ?
  • Could a verb be both ?
  • How could that manifest in the language ?
  • Why participles seems to be the perfect answer ?
  • How could it be replaced ?

I started working with the idea that some verbs could be both. For example, I have a verb which can both mean "standing up" as in "he is standing up", but also "stand up" as in "he stands up". Respectively, action meaning and state meaning.

State verbs can't be actions, at least most of them. Needing something can't be an action, same for loving. In "semantically correct" English one can't say "I'm needing help" or "I'm loving someone", although they are grammatically valid. They can, at most, induce actions. You need help so you surely are looking for some. You love someone so you surely are showing it to them.

However, in most European languages, action verbs can be used as states thanks to the past participle. But in reality, that's either the passive voice or the transformation of the verb in an adjective. "He covers his bed with leaves" -> "His bed is covered with leaves" -> "His bed covered with leaves smells like rotting forest" "He cuts the apple" -> "The apple is cut" -> "The cut apple is left on the table"

So my main questions really are :

  • Are these the only possibilities ?
  • How could participles be replaced ?
  • Do these solutions bring anything else to the language or is it strangeness for the sake of it ?

The easy answer would be "let context do its work" but that doesn't satisfy me ^^



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