Han yu dong jie jie gou ju fa yu yu yi yan jiu
|Other Title:||Study of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese|
|Subject:||Chinese language -- Verb phrase|
Chinese language -- Syntax
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|Department:||Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies|
|Pages:||221 p. : ill. ; 30 cm|
|Abstract:||The current study investigates the semantic properties and the syntactic structures of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese. Such constructions are very productive in the language and take the V-V form where the second V serves as a resultative complement to the first one. Previous studies fall into two approaches: treating the construction as a lexical compound or as a syntactically generated structure. The syntactic approach is further divided into treating the construction as a syntactically generated lexical structure or as a complex of predicates. The current study argues for the complex predicate approach and, based on fresh data and new evidence, has provided more adequate and more comprehensive analyses than was attempted before. A summary of the chapters of the thesis is as follows: Chapter 1 gives a critical review of the previous representative treatments and at the same time outlines the issues that the current study will investigate in its own course. It is observed that the basic issues are the same facing the lexical and the syntactical approach. The issues are, firstly, how to categorize the different types of V-V constructions, and secondly how to describe and explain the ways these constructions are derived in grammar. The lexical approach hinges on morphology for resolving both issues but fails, crucially, to distinguish causative predicates from accusative ones. The fact that causative predicates must contain a causative light verb (lexical or null) while accusative predicates do not do so argues, among other things, for deriving V-V constructions as complex predicates in syntax. Chapter 2 conducts a detailed and comprehensive semantic classification of V-V resultative constructions, which exhibit as many as ten distinct thematic as well as referential patterns, correlating to different types of predication. i.e. the ergatives, the unergatives, the accusatives (including the co-referential and the cross-referential types, the so-called pseudo-passives and the object-fronting sentences), and the causatives (ranging from an independent Causer to one derived from an Agent/Theme constituent). Chapter 3 investigates the syntax of causative constructions in Chinese, laying the foundation for the syntactic analyses of V-V constructions in the chapters to follow. The chapter offers a uniformed analysis to periphrastic as well as lexical causative constructions. The theoretical thrust of such analysis is to accommodate the two-tier causative and thematic hierarchy in Chinese syntax, an issue that has universal implications in the study of causatives across languages. It is argued that the crucial factor is to determine the assigner of Causer, which may be assigned to an independent constituent or to a constituent that may have otherwise assumed an Agent or Theme role at the absence of causative predication. It is thus argued in the spirit of Huang (1988) that it is a causative light-verb, lexical or null, that assigns the role of Causer. Predicate verbs, which complement causative light-verbs in syntax, do not assign this role (contra to some authors such as Cheng&Huang 1994). The matrix-verb status of a causative light-verb suppresses theta-role assignment from the predicate verb to a would-be Causer constituent, which then moves into the causative light-verb phrase to receive the role of Causer. Such analysis consequently explains why causativity overrides thematicity (without violating the Theta-Criterion) and why a constituent assuming the Causer role always occurs as (structural) subject, irrespective of its thematic relation to the predicate verb (cf. Grimshaw 1990). Besides unifying Chinese periphrastic and lexical causatives in a principled analysis, the chapter also makes a distinction in syntactic structure between agentive-causatives and nonagentive-causatives as well as between causative and accusative predicates. Chapter 4 conducts a systematic and comprehensive syntactic analysis of the V-V resultative construction, on the basis of the discussions in the foregoing chapters and of further technical reviews of previous representative treatments. All types of construction that have been semantically classified in Chapter 3 are now syntactically analyzed. Evidence is presented to show that it is not only intuitively possible but also derivationally necessary to generate these constructions as complex predicates headed by two separate verbs. As a result, we are able to distinguish one type or sub-type of the construction from another type or sub-type, both in thematic as well as in syntactic structure, a result that was not descriptively or structurally demonstrated or reported before. Chapter 5 examines V-V constructions of ambiguity and those co-occurring with an additional VP headed by a duplicated copy of the first verb of V-V (known as verb-copying constructions). Ambiguity is resulted from cross-interpretations between (a) co-referential and cross-referential constructions, (b) accusative and causative predicates, or (c) Causer derived from an Agent and from a Theme. Since the syntactic structures of these constructions have already been resolved in Chapter 5, the ambiguity in question is consequently resolved in the principled way which has been demonstrated in Chapter 5 for analyzing the syntax of V-V constructions. In verb-copying, it is argued that the V-V construction subordinates rather than coordinates the additional VP, which functions as a secondary topic. Chapter 6 argues that the V-V resultative construction might have evolved from two "routes' instead of one as previously thought. Namely, the so-called co-referential construction "NP1 V-V NP2" where NP1 is the subject of both verbs might have evolved from a different "route" from one under which the so-called cross-referential construction was developed where NPl and NP2 are the subjects of the respective verbs. Chapter 7 summaries the major findings of the current study, and their theoretical and empirical implications.|
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