Splitting light verbs in the resultative construction

Ma, Yanxiao (2019) Splitting light verbs in the resultative construction. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis examines the resultative construction in Mandarin Chinese, and extends to different resultative patterns in Shanghai dialect and Innu-aimûn. The objective of the study is to investigate the derivational process of various resultative patterns with the labeling theory. I will attempt to provide a symmetric analysis of the resultative construction in general. Hopefully, this study will shed some light on the interface study between the syntactic derivation and the event semantic analysis in the resultative construction. In Mandarin Chinese, a v-splitting structure is proposed in compounding resultatives and DE-resultatives, in which multiple adjacent light verbs are hypothesized along with feature inheritance. The v-splitting structure is also applied to a pattern containing a preverbal resultative adverb in Mandarin Chinese, which is termed as adverb-resultatives. I propose that these patterns fall into the resultative construction in a broad sense. The splitting approach is better than a base-generated structure with two v heads. One advantage is that it allows us to formulate the analysis in which the root raises to v* without violating the head movement constraint. It also works better to explain the specificity effect, when it is based on a splitting structure and labeling requirement. Extending the study to the cross-linguistic scope, resultatives in Shanghai dialect and Innuaimûn are briefly explored. On the one hand, a mono-layer light verb is proposed in Shanghai dialect, in which the resultative predicate does not undergo head movement to the light verb, ending up with the serial verb pattern. The contrast between Shanghai and Mandarin resultatives indicates the diachronical development of light verbs in Chinese: from a unified mono-layer to a v-splitting structure. On the other hand, in Innu-aimûn, the resultative predicate is realized in the preverbal position within the complex verb structure. Multiple head movement is analogically explored in Innu-aimûn. Through the comparative study, the parameter of head movement is emphasized in various resultative patterns. Different strategies to the symmetry-breaking are proposed across languages. In English, the <φ,φ> label matching is used in the VP agreement system. However, this is not unanimously applied to other languages. In Innu-aimûn, result-raising in the resultative construction is the only possibility to break the symmetry of an uninterpretable configuration. In Chinese, two ways are proposed on the symmetrybreaking: the <φ,φ> feature-matching as the core mechanism in the VP agreement system, and result-raising as a supplementary operation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13887
Item ID: 13887
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 203-215).
Keywords: splitting, labeling, light verb, resultative
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: May 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mandarin dialects--Resultative constructions

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