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Title: The Syntax of Event Structure in Chinese
Authors: Chang, Jung-hsing
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: University of Hawaii
Abstract: Based on the idea that event structure plays an important role in linguistic analysis, this dissertation focuses on three main issues. The first issue is concerned with the intertwined relationships among eventuality types in both English and Chinese, their syntactic distributions, and semantic interpretations associated with almost-adverbials, in-adverbials, and for-adverbials. The contrasts between eventuality types are accounted for in terms of two principles: Event Projection and Event-component Fusion. The second issue is concerned with the development of Chinese resultative verb constructions and its close relationship with other syntactic constructions such as the Ba-construction, the Bei-construction, and the Verb-copying construction. It is suggested that the development of resultative verb constructions results from semantic factors rather than word order change from SVO to SOV. In addition, the contrasts of resultative verb constructions, serial verb constructions, and directional verb constructions in terms of whether the two verbs can occur adjacently are conceived of as an iconic reflection of event structure. The last issue is concerned with the linking of arguments to syntax in Chinese resultative verb constructions. It is demonstrated that the linking principles based on the event roles are able to account for the complementary distribution of the Ba-construction and the Verb-copying construction, because 'ba+NP' is associated only with the Locus of affect role (an entity that is involved in the endpoint), whereas 'a copied verb+NP' is associated only with the Target of activity role (an entity that undergoes the action). It is predicted that a resultative verb construction, which can occur in the Ba-construction, can have a corresponding Bei-construction, because both constructions involve the displacement of the Locus of affect role.
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