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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes major syntactic and semantic characteristics of resultative verb compounds (RVCs) such as da-po ‘break, lit. hit-break’ in Mandarin. Argument realization in RVCs is not directly predictable from the arguments of the constituent verbs, but rather reflects properties of the event described, typically a causative situation. RVCs also show transitivity alternations reflecting both properties of the event described, and general principles of Chinese syntax. Result predication in RVCs may hold of the object (the typical case), or the subject. RVCs describe events of change that may arise from a durative event, but adverbial modification typically targets only the change itself. The constituent subevents described by RVCs may be coextensive or otherwise. Change in RVCs may be encoded in either the first or second verb of the compound, although in certain motion event verb compounds, a change of location reading arises from pragmatic inference.

Keywords: resultative verb compounds (RVCs), argument realization, transitivity alternations, causative situation, result predication, events of change

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