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Chinese Syntax in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective$
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Audrey Li, Andrew Simpson, and Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945658.001.0001

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Selection and Incorporation in Complex Predicate Formation

Selection and Incorporation in Complex Predicate Formation

Chapter:
(p.251) 10 Selection and Incorporation in Complex Predicate Formation
Source:
Chinese Syntax in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective
Author(s):

Mamoru Saito

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945658.003.0010

This chapter examines the roles of selection and chain interpretation in the formation of complex predicates. It considers lexical complex predicates in Japanese, resultative serial verbs in Edo, and compound verbs in Chinese. These three differ considerably in the possible combinations of verbs. This chapter argues that this is due to the differences in the ways they are derived: Japanese lexical complex predicates are formed by merger of two verbs, the Edo resultative serial verb construction is interpreted through covert incorporation, and Chinese compound verbs are derived by overt incorporation. Selectional restrictions and the interpretive mechanism of incorporation chains interact with these differences and yield the possible combinations of verbs in the three cases. Among the consequences of the analysis is that selection constrains the application of Merge rather than the resulting phrase structure and that chain interpretation applies to phases as part of the Transfer operation to the interfaces.

Keywords:   complex predicates, serial verbs, verbal compounds, election, merge, incorporation, chain

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