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Encoding EventsFunctional Structure and Variation$
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Xuhui Hu

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808466.001.0001

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The syntax and semantics of Chinese resultatives

The syntax and semantics of Chinese resultatives

(p.75) 4 The syntax and semantics of Chinese resultatives
Encoding Events

Xuhui Hu

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the syntactic derivation of Chinese resultatives. While in English resultatives the [uDiv] feature is valued with the mechanism of feature sharing, in Chinese resultatives it is valued by a verbal C-functor, by nature equivalent to en in flatten. The Chinese V–V resultative compound is a single de-adjectival verb: the first verb is a verbal C-functor and the second one is an adjective. The V–V resultative construction is therefore analyzed as a causative construction involving a de-adjectival verb. This single hypothesis provides a unified account of the seemingly mysterious properties of Chinese resultatives as well as the differences from English resultatives. This account is based on a general hypothesis of Synchronic Grammaticalization: in an analytical language like Chinese where there is only a very limited array of functional items, lexical items are selected to serve as functional items to meet the universal requirement of feature valuation.

Keywords:   Chinese resultatives, functional items, de-adjectival verbs, analytical languages, Synchronic Grammaticalization Hypothesis

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