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θ-structures of Mandarin Resultative Verb Compounds

Fengqi Li (Chongqing)


 

Abstract

Mandarin Resultative Verb Compounds, different from any simplex words, have complicated θ-structures, since both the verb (Vcaus) and its complement (Cres) have the capacity of assigning their own thematic roles. The thematic roles assigned by Vcaus form the θ-structure’s main structure, and those assigned by Cres form the embedded structure. Sometimes an entity plays a role in the main structure, and at the same time plays a role in the embedded structure. If the two roles are identical, they are “coindexed”; if they are different, they form a composite role. RVC’s θ-structure is further compounded when ambiguity occurs and when causation is taken into consideration. The ambiguity of RVCs can be attributed to the different combination of thematic roles. As for causation, the two causative roles, causer and cause, can be assigned to thematic roles according to certain constraints.


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