Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This paper discusses the new aktionsart of traversativity, here defined as the category marking the phase of ‘getting-through’ an event or a situation. Different from completives and resultatives (cf. Bybee et al. 1994), traversatives do not profile a phasal contiguity with the telos of a situation, and thus detach the actionality of the event from a subsequent resultant phase. This entails that, along a perfective cline of change, the aktionsart of traversatives triggers aspectual discontinuity or anti-resultativity (cf. Plungian & van der Auwera 2006). Drawing on this, the present work focuses on the grammaticalization of the traversative particle 过 guò in Mandarin Chinese towards experiential perfect (cf. Cao 1995, Lin 2004, Liu 2009) and interpersonal evidential (IE) usages (cf. Tantucci 2013, 2014a, 2014b). I argue that the experiential and evidential reanalyses V-过 guò are semantically and pragmatically prompted by the original traversative aktionsart of the particle 过 guò. I further discuss this phenomenon through a quantitative and qualitative corpus analysis shedding light on the correspondence between specific written genres and the synchronic employment of V-过 guò either as a phasal, an experiential or an interpersonal evidential (IE) marker. Finally, I suggest that actional discontinuity or anti-resultativity constitutes a productive semantic-pragmatic trigger of further evidential reanalyses of a construction.


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