Wittenberg, Eva & Roger Levy (2017). If you want a quick kiss, make it count: How choice of syntactic construction affects event construal, Journal of Memory and Language 94, 254-271.
Abstract: When we hear an event description, our mental construal is not only based on lexical items, but also on the message’s syntactic structure. This has been well-studied in the domains of causation, event participants, and object conceptualization. Less studied are the construals of temporality and numerosity as a function of syntax. We present a theory of how syntax affects the construal of event similarity and duration in a way that is systematically predictable from the interaction of mass/count syntax and verb semantics, and test these predictions in six studies. Punctive events in count syntax (give a kiss) and durative events in mass syntax (give advice) are construed as taking less time than in transitive frame (kiss and advise). Durative verbs in count syntax (give a talk), however, result in a semantic shift, orthogonal to duration estimates. These results demonstrate how syntactic and semantic structure together systematically affect event construal.
Here’s the link (open access): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749596X16302480?np=y