Lexicalization Typology of Realization Events in Mandarin Chinese

Abstract

There has been a hot debate on the typological status of Mandarin Chinese in Talmyan framework of Verb-framed languages (V-languages) and Satellite-framed Languages(S-languages). However, most previous studies focus on motion events, while other macro-events (Talmy, 2000) receive little attention. The present study aims to investigate event of realization in Mandarin Chinese with experimental method. The analysis of elicited data shows that: (1) predicates of Mandarin realization events are mostly bipolar resultative verb compounds, which have the semantic feature of [+agent], [+instrument], and [+state change]. This proves that “result” is a semantic prime in Chinese verb semantics. (2) Lexicalization patterns of realization events in Mandarin represent more of S-language, but Mandarin also shows the characteristics of V-language. The difference between S-language patterns and V-language patterns is significant, and the general tendency is: S-language>V-language. Overall, the results indicate that the lexicalization typology of Mandarin realization events falls into a complementary typological framework.


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