Transitivity in Chinese experiencer object verbs

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This article discusses semantic and syntactic properties of experiencer object constructions in Chinese. Cross-linguistically, experiencer object verbs have been shown to display some special semanto-syntactic properties which distinguish them from canonical transitive verbs. This has led to the conclusion that experiencer objects are non-canonical objects or even (quirky) subjects in many languages. The present paper investigates the characteristics of experiencer object verbs in Chinese using a number of tests that have been applied cross-linguistically to identify the status of these verbs and their objects. It turns out that in contrast to experiencer object verbs in languages like German or English, Chinese experiencer object verbs display all the semanto-syntactic properties of canonical transitive verbs.


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