Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the semantics of force dynamics, from its cognitive linguistic origins to recent formal approaches. Force dynamics proves to be a fruitful addition to the ontology, allowing natural representations of the distinction between energy and change, interactions within and between events, and ceteris paribus effects, among other phenomena. This makes force dynamics useful, perhaps even indispensable, for a full understanding of event structure and related domains such as aspect, modality, and inference. A debate is just getting underway on how to formally represent forces in ways that are faithful to morphosyntax, compositional semantics, and conceptual plausibility. It may be that lexical-conceptual representations of forces differ from functional (grammaticalized) representations of forces.
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