AskDefine | Define inceptive

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin inceptus + adjective suffix -ive, from Latin -ivus


  1. beginning; of or related to inception
  2. aspectually inflected to show that the action is beginning
    Few languages have an inceptive aspect. In some that do, it is identical to the inchoative aspect. The inceptive aspect is often translated into English as "to start [doing something]".

Related terms

Extensive Definition

The term inchoative is often confused with inceptive. Inceptive is a phasal aspect that is normally associated with the inception, or beginning of an action. Inchoative on the other hand, refers to a verbal, nominal or adjectival category that describes entering into a state. Some languages have inchoative denominalizing suffixes that, when applied to a noun N, derive a verb that means to become an N. When applied to an adjective A, the resulting verb means to take on the property A. Often, inchoative suffixes can also be attached to stative verbs (V) to derive a new verb that means enter into the state of V, e.g., know-INCHOATIVE would mean come to know, or meet. This usage borders on the function of inceptive aspect, and is, therefore the source of the inceptive/inchoative confusion. Inceptive aspect markers can occur on any kind of verb, stative or dynamic, and are not, generally, uses as denominalizers. Inchoative markers, on the other hand, do not normally function with dynamic verbs, and are often also denominalizers.
The term Inchoative verb is used by generative grammarians to refer to a class of verbs that reflect a change of state. e.g., John aged or The fog cleared.

See also

inceptive in German: Inchoativ
inceptive in French: Aspect inchoatif
inceptive in Swedish: Inkoativ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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