SPEED and TIME in the event modifier lexemes slow, fast and quick : A cognitive perspective

Sammanfattning: In this thesis I examine the event modifier lexemes slow, fast and quick and the events they modify. A number of observations made of the use of these modifiers cannot be explained by existing event typologies. Instead I propose a model for event structure and construal, in which I define events according to their temporal configuration in terms of DURATIVITY, BOUNDEDNESS and CHANGE. By applying this model to examples of contemporary British English, I show that there are distinct usage patterns for each modifier with regard to the temporal configuration of the events they modify. I further demonstrate that the readings of SPEED and TIME which result from the combination of event and modifier depend on a number of factors, and in doing so provide an insight into the complex conceptual nature of SPEED and its relation to TIME. In the course of the analysis, several other factors, such as the position of the modifier, the function of the -ly suffix, and the adverbal/adjectival status of the modifier are brought to light. Keywords: SPEED, TIME, BOUNDEDNESS, CHANGE, events, event modifiers, dual-form adverbs, configurational structure, temporal configuration, construal.

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