On the event structure of Chinese resultative compounds

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Bianca BASCIANO Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

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It has been observed that Chinese resultative compounds display varied aspectual behaviors. Yong (1997) distinguishes between simple change resultatives, i.e. resultatives expressing instantaneous change, but allowing a process preliminary to the final change, and complex change resultatives, i.e. those allowing a gradual development of action. Starting from this distinction, this paper aims at providing a structural account of these resultative compounds, based on the constructionist framework put forth by Ramchand (2008), arguing that only simple change resultatives are characterized by having a result layer in their eventive structure. Complex change resultatives, in contrast, are characterized by having the result element in the complement position of the process projection, providing a scalar path. This allows a gradual change of state, and telicity emerges when the path is bounded. The paper also discusses the relation between complex change resultatives and degree achievements.

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