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ERIC Number: ED564622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 312
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-2051-5
The Syntax and Semantics of Event Quantifiers in Mandarin Chinese
Deng, Dun
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
This dissertation investigates the syntax and semantics of nine Chinese "measures for verbs" (Chao 1968:615), which are words used with numerals to form event quantifiers counting the eventualities denoted by the predicate of a sentence. Based on their syntactic behavior, I argue that the nine words can be divided into two groups. The first group is claimed to be classifiers for an event noun when used in event quantifiers. The classifier forms a compound with a numeral to sit in the Spec of the projection of the event noun, whose projection occupies the complement of the verb. The second group is claimed to be not classifiers when used in event quantifiers. They form a constituent with numerals to function as VP-internal adjuncts. I argue that the word "xia" "time," when used in event quantifiers to count the events denoted by a verb, is the classifier for the cognate object of the verb, which, unlike English cognate objects, cannot appear on the surface. Based on Chinese and English facts about the distribution of null nouns in noun phrases, I claim that the PF pronunciation of cognate objects is a last resort. By examining the type of event each of the nine event quantifiers count, I claim that event quantifiers for atomic events are structurally lower than those for plural events (Bach 1986), and show that the claim is true in Chinese, English and Kaqchikel (Henderson 2012). The dissertation also discusses verb reduplication in Chinese and argues that the three verb reduplication patterns fall into two types with one expressing event-internal pluractionality and the other expressing event-external pluractionality (Cusic 1981). By using "xia" "time" as a probe to identify Chinese semelfactives (cf. Comrie 1976 and Smith 1991) and based on facts about verb reduplication, I argue against Rothstein's (2004, 2008) proposal about the aspectual nature of semelfactives and claim that semelfactives are atelic and denote minimal activities with no linguistically relevant internal structures. Based on Chinese facts about counting in the nominal and verbal domain, I revise and defend Bach's (1986) view on the noun-verb parallel against Rothstein's (1999, 2004) proposal. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A