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Cognitive Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Divjak, Dagmar / Newman, John

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Volume 25, Issue 1


The Mandarin LVS construction: Verb lexical semantics and grammatical aspect

Ying Chen / Zhuo Jing-Schmidt
Published Online: 2014-02-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2013-0029


Two empirical studies – a verb elicitation experiment and a collostructional analysis – were conducted to investigate the Mandarin LVS construction with respect to the lexical semantics of the verb and its collocation with grammatical aspect. Converging evidence from both studies indicates strong schematicity and productivity in the verb category of the LVS construction. Although most exemplars fall into a few major lexical semantic clusters, there are more low-frequency marginal exemplars than previously recognized, reinforcing the constructional schema in an essentially radial category. In addition to the lexical semantic regularity of the verb slot, both studies showed the existence of high-frequency tokens with prototype status. As far as grammatical aspect is concerned, the converging evidence indicates that the LVS category is compatible not only with the durative aspect, but also with the perfective as well as the resultative and directional lexical aspect. The attraction of grammatical aspect to the verb of LVS is graded rather than absolute, with some mutual selection patterns more typical than others. The two grammatical aspects as marked by the durative -zhe and the perfective -le are non-interchangeable.

Keywords: locative inversion construction; verb lexical semantics; aspect; Mandarin Chinese

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Published Online: 2014-02-27

Published in Print: 2014-02-01

Citation Information: Cognitive Linguistics, Volume 25, Issue 1, Pages 1–27, ISSN (Online) 1613-3641, ISSN (Print) 0936-5907, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2013-0029.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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