Constructional Meaning and Inheritance in Mandarin Chinese LVCs: The Case of the GIVE Group

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/77651
http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-dspace-776515
http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-19052
Dokumentart: Konferenzveröffentlichung
Date: 2017-08
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Allgemeine u. vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
DDC Classifikation: 400 - Language and Linguistics
490 - Other languages
Keywords: Linguistik
Other Keywords:
Grammatical aspect
Mandarin light verb constructions
Usage-based approach
Grammaticalisation
Constructional inheritance
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Abstract:

This study focuses on aspectual properties of three light verb constructions in Mandarin Chinese involving the verbs jiyu, yuyi and jiayi, all meaning ‘give’. These verbs combine with an action nominal to form a complex predicate, but unlike jiyu and yuyi, the jiayi-construction is incompatible with any aspectual markers, as evidenced by my investigation into a million-word Mandarin corpus. Assuming that light verbs typically follow the grammaticalisation path from independent verbs to grammatical morphemes, I propose that the three GIVE verbs are at different stages of grammaticalisation. The verb jiayi is the most grammaticalised item. However, jiyu and yuyi have not fully grammaticalised as aspectual morphemes, so aspectuality has to be encoded by means of aspectual markers such as the perfective markers -le and -guo. Taking into account their different aspectual properties, this study gives a constructional presentation on the family of GIVE light verb constructions, which demonstrates both conventional meaning common to all GIVE light verb constructions and idiosyncratic features particular to each light verb construction.

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