Date of Degree

9-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Linguistics

Advisor

Sam Al Khatib

Subject Categories

Linguistics | Semantics and Pragmatics | Syntax

Keywords

Delimitative, Mandarin Chinese, Aspect Marker, Temporal Modifier

Abstract

This thesis investigates how delimitative marking in Mandarin Chinese is better considered as an instance of verb-phrase modification instead of aspect marking. The study investigates data with verb reduplication cases caused by delimitative marking from both syntactic and semantic points of view. Through observations and analyses, it is found that delimitative marking does not have the same distribution as other aspect markers, but rather shows resemblance to temporal modifiers syntactically. Semantically, instead of providing a viewpoint as other aspect markers do, delimitative indicates the temporal length (shortness) of the event. In addition, it is found that delimitative marking has strict licensing condition: it only applies to eventive verbs. These findings suggest that delimitative marking is better categorized as a special kind of temporal modifier.

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