Chinese Semelfactives and Body Movements

Abstract : In searching for internal evidence for a class of semelfactive predicates in Standard Mandarin, we investigate an aspect-sensitive marker, preverbal yī ‘one’, that exhibits strong affinity with semelfactive predicates. The verbs that typically enter this pattern show a striking similarity with those labeled as semelfactives in other languages, mostly body movements and facial expressions, likely to be construed as atomic, countable events. Preverbal yī is mainly used in narratives to express past punctiliar events with no consequent state in a chain of actions, and conveys a nuance of “suddenness”. Associated with other types of predicates, it activates the semantic features linked with semelfactivity, i.e. punctiliarity and atelicity. The “yī V” pattern discussed here is to be distinguished from another pattern where yī functions as a connector and means ‘as soon as’, which is compatible with various types of predicates.
Type de document :
Chapitre d'ouvrage
D. Xu and J. Fu. Space and Quantification in Languages of China, Springer, pp.233-247, 2015
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https://hal-inalco.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01381994
Contributeur : Christine Lamarre <>
Soumis le : samedi 15 octobre 2016 - 00:25:27
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:19:18

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  • HAL Id : hal-01381994, version 1

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Christine Lamarre. Chinese Semelfactives and Body Movements. D. Xu and J. Fu. Space and Quantification in Languages of China, Springer, pp.233-247, 2015. 〈hal-01381994〉

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