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Making Sense of Grammar
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What are the constraints on the usage of aspect marker LE (了) in serial-verb construction?
asked Feb 28, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)
edited Mar 26, 2018 by admin

1 Answer

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A stative complement is not allowed to follow the undergoer NP after a transitive verb. Therefore, a reduplication is generated to avoid a sequence of two complements. Once the verb is duplicated, aspect marker may only occur with the second verb, but not with the first verb.

他打球打好幾年了 (t¯a d˘a qi´u d˘a le h˘ao j˘ı ni´an le/He has been playing the ball game for several years.) → grammatical

他打球好幾年了 (t¯a d˘a le qi´u d˘a h˘ao j˘ı ni´an le) → ungrammatical

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Feb 28, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin
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