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Marked Causative Structures of Chinese Verb-Resultative Construction

Xiaoxia Pan, Limin Liu


This paper aims to study the syntactic and semantic features of ‘marked VRC causative structures’, those special syntactic-semantic structures formed by verb-resultative constructions (VRCs) which violate both the Uniformity of Theta Assignment Hypothesis and the Thematic Hierarchy. Their syntactic and semantic features are defined as follows: 1) VRC has a causative relation within itself; 2) the argument in the object position is the causee and the only argument of the resultative complement; 3) the causer in the subject position is any conceptual component from the cause event other than the agent of the predicate verb. This paper then attempts to propose an extended account to expound how they are formed syntactically and semantically. On this account, a marked VRC causative structure is re-causativization of a VRC when the VRC is self-causative; it enables other conceptual components of the cause event than the agent to become the causer when a VRC is not self-causative. There are some constraints on what becomes the causer of a marked VRC causative structure.


Verb-resultative Construction; Marked Causative Structure; Self-causative VRC; Re-causativization

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