telicity
Definition - The property of a statement such that it indicates whether an action or event is complete in some way.

Notes:
1. In contrast, the property of a statement such that it indicates whether an action or event is incomplete in some way is called atelicity.
2. A statement having this property is said to be telic, whereas a statement that presents the action or event as being incomplete is said to be atelic.

Example -

(1) One way to test whether the verbal statement is telic is to see whether a phrase like in an hour - which indicates that an act has been completed - works with it, e.g.

John built a fence in an hour.

(This sounds right which indicates that built a fence is telic)


(2) Alternatively, a way to gauge whether the verbal statement is atelic is to see whether a phrase like for a month - which indicates that an act is incomplete - can be used with it.

John built houses for a month.

(This sounds right which indicates that built houses is atelic)

Etymology -
The term derives from the Greek telos, end or goal.



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