This paper addresses the question whether the German copular verbs bleiben (,remain' ) and werden (,become' ) can be adequately described in terms of duality, as proposed by Löbner (1990). It is argued that bleiben and werden contrary to Löbner's proposal are not duals, on
the basis of two main arguments: First, apparently equivalent copular constructions with bleiben and werden do not refer to the same sort of situations, i.e. states or events. Second, bleiben possesses a meaning element that werden does not, namely a contrasting alternative. Apart from these
main claims which concern bleiben- and werden-constructions in general, two more constructions are discussed, comparative structures as well as constructions with the past participle. The paper also discusses the consequences of the claim that werden and bleiben are not duals for the semantic
description of these verbs. This is especially important for bleiben which has often been described in the literature so far by taking the duality relation as a basis.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2008
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