In "the clothes wash well" there is a syntactical link between 'clothes' and 'wash' - 'wash' happens to the clothes.Originally Posted by casiopea
In "the glass breaks easily" there is a syntactical link between 'glass' and 'breaks' - 'break' happens to the glass
In "the book reads well' there is no syntactical link between 'book' and 'reads' - reads doesn't happen to the book, it is performed by an actor. 'Read' requires an actor to be stated to form a coherent sentence.
'Read' needs understanding. That means you have to have a mind present to do the understanding. Read can only be an action, performed by a thinking subject. IMO, read can't be stative, or even stative-like - a view supported by Dowty tests - and shouldn't be used in a mediopassive voice.Originally Posted by casiopea
'Wash' requires no understanding, no mind, no thinking subject. A mindless washing- machine can wash your clothes.
Washing is something that happens to your clothes, breaking is something that happens to window for example, but reading is not something that happens to a book - the book doesn't change - it is something done by the reader.
If you are wondering why this matters...
"What happened to my blue shirt?" -> "Its in the wash!" - 'wash' describes the situation the shirt is in: it has a stative field of reference.
"What happened to the glass?" -> "It broke!" - 'broke' describes the situation the glass is in: it has a stative field of reference.
"What happened to the book?" -> "It reads!" - nonsense: it has no stative foeld of reference.
"What happened to the book?" -> "its in the read!" - still nonsense: still no stative field of reference.
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