A term used in the semantic analysis of grammatical categories, referring to a kind of relationship between an agent and a verb. A volitional verb or construction is one where the action takes place as a consequence of the agent’s choice, e.g. Mary left. A non-volitional verb or construction is one where the agent has no determining influence on the action, e.g. Mary slipped. Many verbs allow both interpretations (e.g. X hit Y - accidentally or on purpose?). The notion has also had a contrastive role in the analysis of the meanings of certain auxiliary verbs in English: for example, the volitional sense of will in I will go (in the sense of ‘it is my decision to go’) is distinguished from other sense, such as characteristic action (They’ll sit there for hours).


对语法范畴作语义分析的术语,指施事和动词之间的一类关系。意愿动词或构式是动作在施事的选择下发生的动词或构式,例如Mary left“玛丽离去了”。非意愿动词或构式则是施事对动作不起决定性作用,例如Mary slipped“玛丽滑到了”。许多动词可作两种理解(例如X hit Y“甲击中乙”—是偶然的还是有意的?)。这个概念在分析某些助动词的意义时也起对比作用:例如I will go中的will作意愿义解时句子表示“我要去”;但will也可作其他义解,如表示动作很独特(They’ll sit there for hours“他们会在那儿连着坐上几个小时”)。