Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8706
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8714
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The Mandarin -construction has been one of the most well studied subjects in Chinese grammar. Although the previous studies have achieved some exciting results, the exact nature of and the syntactic derivation of the -construction remain largely controversial. The current paper constitutes an attempt to clarify the two issues under the minimalist framework. In particular, while keeping in line with the little analysis of proposed by Sybesma 1999Lin 2001 among others, I argue that there is a Middle applicative projection (an affected applicative) between V and ; the -NP is formed by a movement of VP-internal arguments to Spec.ApplP, which can optionally be occupied by , and it gets an accusative Case from in . With this analysis, we can better account for the core syntactic and semantic properties of -constructions. Furthermore, I will show that the proposed applicative approach has some interesting consequences for Taiwanese -constructions, a near counterpart of Mandarin -constructions. Finally, I will compare -constructions to languages with differential object marking in arguing that Mandarin uses a special strategy – light verb marking to mark the specific/affected objects.


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