Syntactic and Semantic Analysis of VP-lai-VP Construction

  • 侯 岱君

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This thesis aims to investigate the construction VP1-lai-VP2 in terms of syntactic and semantic perspectives Based on the argument sharing properties we classify constituents into three subtypes We first exert ‘le-suffixation’ to find out the main predicate of VP1-lai-VP2 constituent Further by applying the examination of Tsai (2008 2009) wh-adverbial tests we try to figure out the relation between two VPs We argue that type I involving both subject and object sharing are in effect consecutive serial verb construction because VP1 and VP2 are unable to fit the substitution of either causality ‘weisheme’ or the comitativity ‘zenmeyang ’ Type II is compatible with the comitativity ‘zenmeyang’ substitution only The examination illustrates that the VP1 of type II is actually a VP-layer attributive denoting instrument and the purposive meanings of the constituent Type III contains two events VP1 is able to be substituted by inner adverb zenmeyang and only some of VP2 can be replaced with inner purposive adverbial weileshenme Further we examine the relations between VP1 and lai-clause with regard to ‘Predicate decomposition’ from Levin and Rappaport Hovav (1998 2005) We find out that when the VP1 is stative verb specified as [ v BE at/on ] it is not compatible to three types of lai-clause Some of the dynamic verbs among which unergative verbs are excluded are in harmony with lai purposive clause As for Type II the predicate1 in is usually decomposed as light verb [USE] which assign [INSTRUMENT] theta role and it displays object-preposing properties In type III when VP1 are achievement or accomplishment verbs carrying semantic feature [Change-of-State] they are congenial with lai purposive clause Finally semantic feature [telicity] and [boundness] explain the discrepancy between ‘weile’ purpose phrase and purposive VP1-lai-VP2 construction
Date of Award2017 Sep 15
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChin-Cheng Lo (Supervisor)

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