I was recently reading an article by David Embick (2004) in which he makes a ternary distinction among passive participles: 1. stative 2. resultative 3. eventive, contra. Wasow (1977) who distinguishes only adjectival from verbal passives.

Embick belives that resultatives are telic but he does not show exact criteria or tests to differenciate them from statives.

My question is: Are there any syntactic tests/criteria used to distinguish statives from resultative passive participles?

  • 2
    Isn't it a matter of categorisation? That is, however you group them, that is how they're grouped.
    – OmarL
    Nov 20, 2018 at 12:25
  • I was thinking about 'telicity' tests, but it appears that Embick has confused things a bit in my mind. He takes adjectival passives to be of two different types: (pure) statives and resultatives. The first category does not have an eventive head 'v' (light v), whereas the second contains one, but it's different from the one encoded in the verbal (eventive) passive. What i'm seeking at this level is the strategy by which we could fifferentiate between statives (simple ones) and resultatives. Ther's also a confusion in terminology...
    – Tsutsu
    Nov 20, 2018 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


After Embick (2004), you could take a look at this paper by Alexiadou & Anagnostopoulou, whose title is "Structuring participles", downloadable at www.lingref.com/cpp/wccfl/26/paper1653.pdf
After that, you could procede to take a look at the chapter 5 on adjectival passives, included in his recent (2015) monograph on External Arguments in Transitivity Alternations https://global.oup.com/academic/product/external-arguments-in-transitivity-alternations-9780199571949?cc=es&lang=en&# . Good luck!


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