City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
0 like 0 dislike
35 views
asked Aug 5 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 35 views

1 Answer

0 like 0 dislike
An RVC can be intransitive too, as in ‘Zhāng Sān hēzuì le’ (Zhang San drank liquor and as a result he got drunk.). ‘hē’ (drink) is both transitive and in transitive, but in this sentence, it is intransitive, and ‘zuì’ (drunk) is intransitive, too. The verb compound ‘hēzuì’ inherited the argument structure from both verbs and becomes an intransitive verb compound. Semantically, such a compound describes a situation in which the agent of V1 experiences the result of his own activity, that is to say, Zhang San, because of his own action of drinking alcohol, becomes drunk.

From the above analysis, we see that in the RVC, both V1 and V2 may determine the argument structure of the verb compound. Then according to the viewpoint that the head of a verb compound plays the role in deciding the argument structure of the verb compound, the natural conclusion is that both V1 and V2 are the heads of the RVC.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Aug 5 by Ariel (34,480 points)

1,520 questions

1,796 answers

21 comments

15,074 users

1,520 questions
1,796 answers
21 comments
15,074 users