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Chinese Syntax in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective$
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Audrey Li, Andrew Simpson, and Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945658.001.0001

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Transitive Psych-Predicates

Transitive Psych-Predicates

(p.207) 8 Transitive Psych-Predicates
Chinese Syntax in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective

Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng

Rint Sybesma

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines stative psych-predicates in Mandarin, which can take objects that are interpreted as the “subject matter.” The chapter shows that the objects are real syntactic objects, and the transitive structure can alternate with an intransitive duì-object counterpart. Furthermore, it argues that the transitive psych-predicates are not causatives. Taking into account comparable data from Bantu, it argues that the “subject-matter” objects are possibly due to the presence of an applicative projection, whose head can be filled by moving the verb into it, or that can be optionally spelled out as duì. The chapter discusses the implications of this analysis with respect to analyticity, as well as the differences between Cantonese and Mandarin.

Keywords:   applicative, psych-predicates, ransitivity, Cantonese, Mandarin

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