Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Mandarin contrasts typologically with English in its lexicalization of state change (Talmy 2000). The majority of Mandarin monomorphemic verbs is moot about or implies a state change, whereas English has many monomorphemic verbs (e.g. ) that entail a state change. This study investigates empirically the nuanced lexicalization of state-change implicature in Mandarin monomorphemic verbs and its implications for the linguistic typology of encoding state change. Two experiments were conducted with adult native Mandarin speakers: a rating task about the acceptability of sentences that expressed a failure of fulfilment of a state-change (e.g. ‘Zhangsan killed a chicken, but it didn’t die’) and a multiple-choice task that probed the preferred interpretation of monomorphemic state-change verbs. The results of both studies reveal a significant effect of verb types and post hoc comparisons show a cline of state-change implicature in the target verbs.


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