論漢語「個」字在「V 個 XP」 結構之句法表現及語意解釋

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國立交通大學

外國語文學系外國文學與語言學碩士班

碩士論文

論漢語「個」字在「V 個 XP」 結構之句法表現及語意解釋

On Ge in the V ge XP construction in Mandarin Chinese:

A Syntactic and Semantic Analysis

研究生:吳佳芬 Student: Wu, Chia-Fen

指導教授:林若望 教授 Advisor: Dr. Lin, Jo-Wang

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論漢語「個」字在「V 個 XP」 結構之句法表現及語意解釋

On Ge in the V ge XP construction in Mandarin Chinese:

A Syntactic and Semantic Analysis

研究生:吳佳芬 Student: Wu, Chia-Fen

指導教授:林若望 教授 Advisor: Dr. Lin, Jo-Wang

國立交通大學

外國語文學系外國文學與語言學碩士班

碩士論文

A Thesis

Submitted to Institute of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics

National Chiao Tung University

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master

in

Institute of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics

National Chiao Tung University

July, 2009

Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China

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論漢語「個」字在「V 個 XP」 結構之句法表現及語意解釋

學生:吳佳芬 指導教授: 林若望 教授

國立交通大學外國語文學系外國文學與語言學碩士班

摘 要

本篇論文主要探討中文「個」字在「V 個 XP」結構的特殊用法,例如「吃個飯」、「吃個 過癮」。首先,根據數量詞是否可以加入來判斷,該結構的「個」不能加入前置的數量 詞,可視為與個體量詞的「個」不同,如果該假設成立,那麼「個」到底是什麼?「個」 的出現對句子貢獻什麼語意? 本文中「個」字的句法分析,主要奠基於 Doetjes (1997)對量詞 (Quantification)的研究。 「個」從表示確定量的量詞(classifier)轉為表示不定量的程度量詞(degree quantifier), 「個」可分析為一個帶有量詞結構(classifier construction)的程度量詞。此外,「個」是程 度量詞的中心語(head),選擇帶有名詞特性(nominal)的詞語,例如名詞及形容詞。 從語意的觀點而言,根據 Kennedy&McNally (2005) 對程度(degree)及範圍(scale)的定義, 形容詞有其範圍。再根據 Doetjes (1997)的定義,名詞也可視為有範圍。「個」指的就是 這範圍的最小值(minimal part),因此才會有微小不重要(trivial)的語意出現。 總歸而言,本文主張中文「個」具有一致的句法表現及語意解釋,句法上是程度量詞,語 意上是指賓語範圍的最小值。 關鍵字:中文,個,程度量詞,範圍

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On Ge in the V ge XP construction in Mandarin Chinese:

A Syntactic and Semantic Analysis

Student: Wu, Chia-Fen Advisor: Dr. Lin, Jo-Wang

Institute of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics

ABSTRACT

This thesis studies the special usage of ge in the V ge XP construction, such as chi ge fan ‘have a meal’ and chi ge gouyin ‘eat to one’s heart’s content,’ and with particular focus on the interpretation of ge. Initially, since ge does not allow the preceding numerals, it is argued that ge is different from the generalized classifier ge, which individuates a single unit of nouns for counting. In other words, ge in the V ge XP does not function like an individual classifier. If such an account is correct, then what is ge? What kind of meaning does ge contribute to the V ge XP construction?

In this thesis, the assumption regarding the syntactic representation of ge is based on Doetjes’ (1997) analysis of quantification and selection. I propose that ge is a degree quantifier (i.e., DQ), due to the facts that, like a DQ, ge gradually changes from a classifier denoting a specific quantity, or a unit, to a degree quantifier denoting an uncertainty quantity. Furthermore, I propose that ge is a head, selecting phrases composed of categories with [+N] feature, such as nouns and adjectives.

From the semantic point of view, based on the research of Kennedy and McNally (2005), adjectives have scales and degrees. According to Doetjes’ (1997) definition, nouns also have scales. I then propose that each XP has its scale and ge indicates the minimal part on the scale of the XP, such as the degree scale of adjectives or the quantity scale of nouns. Thus, a trivial reading is derived.

This study concludes that ge is a degree quantifier selecting nominal arguments syntactically, and ge denotes the minimal part of arguments in the scale of degree or quantity semantically. The contribution of this study is to provide a unified syntactic and semantic analysis of ge in the V ge XP construction.

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致 謝

回顧語言所三年的時光,轉眼即逝,寫論文的這段時光,是最辛苦也是最充實的日子。在 研究期間,學到很多事,其中之一,便是感謝,我很慶幸能得到許多人的幫助,才有最後 的成果出現。 首先,要感謝我的指導教授 林若望老師。林老師上課方式很有趣,讓學生發現許多研究 的樂趣。老師對研究充滿熱情及謹慎的態度,也很值得學習。在我寫論文的時候,老師很 用心地指導我做研究,也常鼓勵我有自己的想法,並很有耐心地聆聽我的各種想法,給予 許多寶貴的意見,協助我思考並解決問題。。 同時,也要感謝劉辰生老師的教導。劉老師上課及做研究都極為認真,常勉勵我們要自我 要求,平常也一直很關心我們這些學生,在學生碰到挫折時,總是會給學生支持鼓勵。在 寫論文時,很感謝老師抽空跟我討論,提供我各種思考的方向。接著,要感謝蔡維天老師 在百忙之中來幫我口試。在旁聽蔡老師的課中,也從中學習了許多做學問的精神和方法。 此外,還要感謝 Paul Portner 老師,老師有趣又充實的課程,開啟了我對邏輯語意學 (Formal semantics)的興趣。另外,要感謝潘荷仙老師、許慧娟老師及劉美君老師,透過老 師們認真地教導,讓我發覺語言學的更多面相及有趣之處。也要感謝清大的林宗宏老師, 在旁聽老師的課時,適時給予我一些指導。在求學過程中,遇到許許多多的老師及學術上 的朋友,在此也要感謝他們的指導。 感謝交大的同學、學長姐、學弟妹三年的陪伴,以及清大旁聽認識的學長姐和同學。尤其 在做研究時,很感謝他們花時間跟我討論語料及分析。特別要感謝佳霖總是耐心地聆聽我 的想法及分擔我的煩惱,還有惠瑜及縉雯也提供我了許多寫論文上的幫助。我還要感謝大 學時代的一群好朋友們,一直願意分享我在課業上及生活上的煩惱和喜悅。 最後我要感謝我的家人(尤其是爸爸、媽媽和妹妹),雖然在唸書時,無法常花時間陪伴家 人,但他們總是一直鼓勵著我、支持著我,讓我能全心全意地努力,朝自己理想的方向前 進。

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Table of Contents

Chinese Abstract... English Abstract... Acknowledgement... Table of Contents... List of Tables... List of Abbreviations... 1. INTRODUCTION... 2. PROPERTIES OF GE... 2.1. Preliminary: Classifier or not? ...

2.1.1. Classifiers in the postverbal position...

2.1.2. Ge vs. other classifiers...

2.2. Problems of the V ge XP construction... 2.2.1. Why ge is present? ... 2.2.2. The definiteness effect... 2.2.3. The issue of the numeral yi 'one'... 2.3. Classification of V ge XP: Three subtypes... 2.3.1 V ge NP... 2.3.2 V ge AP... 2.3.3 V ge NumP... 2.4. Summary...

3. LITERATURE REVIEW...

3.1. Lin (2000): The diminutive analysis... 3.2. Wu (2001): The DP analysis... 3.3. Shi (2007, ms): The Clitic analysis...

4. THE PROPOSAL FOR GE AND ITS INTERPRETATION...

4.1. A plausible account: A diminutive marker... 4.2. Theoretical background... 4.2.1. DQs: Categorial underspecification, theta-selection, and adjunction... 4.2.2. Types of DQs... i ii iii iv vi vii 1 4 4 4 6 10 10 11 13 15 18 25 36 38 41 42 43 45 46 46 52 52 53

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4.2.3. DQs in different lexical contexts... 4.3. The proposal: ge is a DQ... 4.3.1. The syntactic representation of V ge XP... 4.4. The semantic interpretation of ge... 4.4.1 Preliminary: degree and scale... 4.4.2 The semantic account: ge denotes the minimal part of the scale...

5. CONCLUSION... REFERENCES... 55 55 59 66 66 71 77 79

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List of Tables

Table 2.1 The classifier system ... Table 4.1 The second-order diminutives ... Table 4.2 Four classes of Qs ... Table 4.3 Types of DQs ...

1 47 52 54

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List of Abbreviations

A Adjective AP adjective phrase ASP Aspect CL Classifier N Noun NP noun phrase Num Numeral NumP numeral phrase V Verb

VP verb phrase Q question (ma)

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CHAPTER 1

________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION

It is well known that ge is a generalized classifier in Mandarin Chinese. However, ge also has a specialized use in the postverbal position, distinct its use as a classifier as illustrated in (1). So as to distinguish this construction from the generalized classifier, I label it the V ge XP construction, where XP denotes different categories of phrases such as NPs, APs and NumPs.

(1) a. Women qu chi ge fan ! we go eat GE rice 'Let's go have a meal!'

b. Wo xiang chi ge guoyin zai zou! I want eat GE satisfied then go

'I do not want to leave until I eat to my heart's content!' c. Ta dei chi ge liang san wan fan cai hui bao. he need eat GE two three bowl rice only will full 'He has to eat two or three bowls of rice to be full.'

The two usages of ge can be distinguished by the co-occurrence restriction of preceding numerals, as in (2). As a classifier, ge is able to be combined with numerals as in (2a).

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However, the special use of ge does not allow for any preceding numerals.1 Thus, (2b) is

ungrammatical.

(2) a. wo chi le wu ge pingguo. I eat ASP five GE apple 'I ate five apples'

b. *wo chi le liang ge fan. I eat ASP two GE rice

Given the distinction above, one must first consider whether ge in V ge XP can be considered as a classifier or not. If ge is not a classifier, how does one interpret the meaning of ge? For example, compared with (3a), what kind of meaning does the presence of ge contribute to the phrase in (3b)?

(3) a. Yiqi qu chi fan ba! Together go eat rice SFP 'Let's have a meal!'

b. Yiqi qu chi ge fan ba! Together go eat GE rice SFP 'Let's have a meal!'

In addition, since XPs involve various types of phrases, as illustrated in (1), the question arises: how to derive a unified analysis for various XPs?

In fact, ge as a classifier has been extensively studied and is well-understood (cf. Chao

1 The numeral yi 'one' is acceptable in some cases of the special use of ge, but the issue of yi 'one' will be addressed later. Since yi 'one' is unique among numerals, it is not used for tests.

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1968; Li 1998; Cheng & Sybesma 1998, 1999, 2004; Tang 1990). By contrast, although the special use of ge in (1) has long been an object of study, there is little agreement regarding its interpretation. The initial observation of this special use of ge can be traced back to Chao (1968) and Lü (1980). Many recent articles such as Lin (2001), Wu (2002), Big (2002 and 2004) and Shu (2007, ms) have been devoted to the theoretical explanation of ge in the V ge XP construction. However, these analyses vary greatly and leave many questions unanswered. The primary goal of this thesis is to address the the meaning and grammatical nature of ge. The organization of this thesis is as follows: Chapter 2 describes questions relevant to ge from syntactic and semantic aspects and also discusses its precise nature. Chapter 3 reexamines previous literature dealing with ge. Chapter 4 introduces studies used as the background for the analysis of ge (see Doetjes 1997 and McNally & Kennedy2005), and proposes a unified analysis that ge is a degree quantifier and indicates the minimal part on the scale of an argument. Chapter 5 addresses directions for the future research and closes with a brief conclusion.

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CHAPTER 2

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PROPERTIES OF GE

This chapter first considers problems relating to ge in V ge XP. Three subclasses of this construction (i.e., V ge NP, V ge AP, and V ge NumP) are then introduced and the properties of each subclass are discussed.

2.1. Preliminary: Classifier or not?

In order to distinguish the two usages of ge, the individual classifier ge following numerals is termed as 'classifier ge,' while ge in the V ge XP construction is simply termed as 'ge.' By comparing it with classifiers, specific properties of ge in V ge XP can be elucidated.

2.1.1. Classifiers in the postverbal position

In Mandarin Chinese, CL-NP only occurs in the postverbal position and expresses an indefinite and non-specific reading (cf. Cheng & Sybesma 2005), as illustrated in (4). Similarly, ge XP also displays the same distribution─the postverbal position, as in (5).

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(4) Women xiang mai bu che we want buy CL car ' We want to buy a car.'

(5) Women xiang mai ge che. we want buy GE car ' We want to buy a car.'

However, the insertion of numerals can distinguish bu and ge. The classifier bu in (6a) is a nominal classifier used to count an individual unit. By contrast, ge in (6b), which does not allow for preceding numerals, should not be considered as a classifier.

(6) a. Women xiang mai liang bu che. we want buy two CL car ' We want to buy two car.'

b. *Women xiang mai liang ge che we want buy two GE car

Some nouns, such as che 'car,' do not utilize the classifier ge for individualization in forming Num+CL+N. Therefore, when ge occurs in front of che 'car,' one can only interpret ge in terms of its special use rather than as a classifier. In certain nouns that tend to combine with the classifier ge instead of others, the ambiguity between the two usages of ge may arise.

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(7) Wo xiang mai ge liwu I want buy GE gift 'I want to buy a gift.'

A more careful examination shows that V ge NP in (7) has two interpretations. One is a normal reading: 'buying a gift'. The other is a diminutive reading in the sense that 'buying a gift' is a trivial thing. However, the distinction is not always so clear to native speakers. Since in normal contexts one tends to utilize ge as a classifier, the trivial reading of ge requires additional contexts to signal its use.

2.1.2. Ge vs. other classifiers

Having clarified that ge in V ge XP is different from the generalized classifier ge, the question arises as to whether or not ge is still counted as a classifier. According to Chao's (1968, translated by Ding 1980:312) dichotomy of classifiers, the classifier system is divided into nine classes, as illustrated in Table 2.1: 1) Classifiers, or individual measures, i.e., Mc; 2) Classifiers associated with Verb-Object, i.e., Mc'; 3) Group measures, i.e., Mg; 4) Partitive measures, i.e., Mp, 5) Container measures, i.e., Mo; 6) Temporary measures, i.e., Mt; 7) Standard measures, i.e., Mm; 8) Quasi-measures, i.e., Mq; 9) Measures for verbs of action, i.e., Mv,

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Table 2.1. The classifier system

Number >1

Classifiers Reduplicability Compatibility with de Nouns Limited list 1) Mc 2) Mc' 3) Mg 4) Mp 5) Mo 6) Mt 7) Mm 8) Mq 9) Mv √ √ √ √ √ * √ √ √ ge 'GE' ju 'line' hang 'line' dui 'pile' guo 'pot' di 'ground' chi 'length unit' ke 'class' tang 'run' ( √ ) ( √ ) ( √ ) ( * ) ( * ) * ( √ ) ( √ ) ( √ ) * ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) √ √ * * ren 'person' hua 'word ' zi 'word' tu 'soil' mian 'noodles' dongxi 'stuff' bu 'cloth' * * √ √ √ √ * * ( √ ) ( √ ) √

ge * ge * * Fan 'rice', san

wan 'three bowls'

(adopted from Chao 1968 translated by Ding 1980: 312)2

The use of ge behaves like classifiers such as Mc', Mq, Mv, and Mt. However, through careful scrutiny, ge in V ge XP does not belong to any group of classifiers.

A. Comparison of classifiers associated with V-O, i.e. Mc'

This type of classifier is associated with V-O. The counting number may exceed one. In the postverbal position, the numeral yi 'one' is often omitted, as shown in (8).

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(8) Shuo yi/liang ju hua say one/two Cl-line words

'say one/two lines of verse '

(9) a. chi ge fan eat GE rice

b. *chi yi/liang ge fan eat one/two GE rice

Consider (8) and (9); ge in (9a) occurs in the postverbal position, the same as classifier ju 'line' in (8), but the non-occurrence of numerals as in (9b) proves that ge is not a classifier.

B. Comparison with temporary measures, i.e. Mt

Temporary measures are nouns that follow numerals to express the measure of the exterior of things. De is usually inserted before nouns. No numeral except yi 'one' is allowed, and yi 'one' is used to express 'full' and 'entire'. Ge does not behave as a noun and is forbidden to occur with de 'DE.'

(10) yi di (de) dongxi one Cl-ground DE things 'a ground of stuffs'

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(11) a. *nian yi ge de shu study one GE DE book

b. *hua yi ge de liang san bai kuai spend one GE DE two three hundred dollar

C. Comparison with measures for verbs of Action, i.e. Mv

This kind of classifier describes the action in terms of times, manner and instrument. The example chi yi ge 'eat one ge' is acceptable when it means 'eat one (thing)' where yi ge approximates a pronoun such as one.3

(12) a. zou yi tang walk one Cl-run 'walk a run' b. chi yi dun eat one Cl-meal 'eat a meal'

(13) a. *zou yi ge walk one GE b. chi yi ge

eat one GE

3 The other kind of example can be found in intransitive verbs such as xio yi ge 'smile one GE,' meaning 'to do a smile', but this is not the main concern in this thesis .

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From the above comparisons of (8)-(13), one can conclude that ge behaves differently from other classifiers in the postverbal position and ge does not belong to any group in Chao's (1968) classification. Therefore, it seems incorrect to regard ge as a classifier at least based on its syntactic behaviors.

2.2 Problems of the V ge XP construction

In addition to the issue of ge as a classifier, there are also other interesting problems surrounding ge, as discussed in the following.

2.2.1. Why ge is present?

Compare the following examples in (14) and (15). It is interesting to note that ge is optional. Despite the optional occurrence, ge still contributes to the meaning when it is present. In addition, consider (16), the V de construction in (16a) seems to denote the same expression as V ge XP construction in (16b). This begs the question: can a generalized interpretation for the V ge XP construction be derived? This issue will be discussed in Chapter 4.

(14) a. chi ge fan eat GE rice

'have a meal' b. chi fan

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(15) a. chi ge liang wan fan eat GE two CL-bowl rice 'eat two bowls of rice' b. chi liang wan fan eat two CL-bowl rice 'eat two bowls of rice'

(16) a. chi de guoyin eat DE satisfied

'eat to one's heart content' b. chi ge guoyin

eat GE satisfied 'eat to one's heart's content'

2.2.2. The definiteness effect

It is known that English there-insertion sentences display a definiteness effect (or DE), as shown in (17). Interestingly, ge XP seems to display similar DE as well. More specifically, definite descriptions and universal quantifying expressions are not allowed to be combined with ge, as illustrated in (18). The grammaticality shown in (18d) and (18e) seems to represent counter examples to DE. However, such examples are parallel to the Chinese you 'have' construction, shown in (19). Thus, it is not surprising for the possessive NP to be interpreted as indefinite (cf. Huang 1987: 239).

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(18) a. Kan ge dianying watch GE movie ‘watch a movie’

b. *Kan ge suoyou de/ mei yi bu dianying

watch GE all DE/ every one Cl movie

‘watch all/every movie(s)

c. *Kan ge zhe/na yi bu dianying watch GE this/that one Cl movie ‘watch this/that movie’

d. Kan ge Li-Ann de dianying watch GE Ann Li’s movie ‘watch a movie of Ann Li’s’

(19) a. You yi bu dianying keyi kan have one Cl movie can watch ‘There is a movie available to watch’

b. *You suoyou de/ mei yi bu dianying keyi kan have all DE/ mei yi Cl movie can watch ‘There are/is all/every movie(s) available to watch’ c. *You zhe/na yi-bu dianying keyi kan

have this/that yi-Cl movie can watch ‘There is this/that movie available to watch’

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d. You Li-Ann de dianying keyi kan have Ann Li’s movie can watch

‘There is a movie of Ann Li available to watch’

2.2.3. The issue of the numeral yi 'one'

As previously mentioned, ge does not permit preceding numerals, illustrated as follows.

(20) a. *pao yi ge bu run one GE step

b. *mai yi ge wu liu ben shu buy one GE five six CL-volume book

c. ?he yi ge tongkuai drink one GE joyful

Given the illegitimacy of V yi ge XP, ge should be distinguished from yi ge 'one GE' at least in the synchronic level, at which it is not easy to judge whether yi is really “missing” or simply not appearing in the postverbal position (cf. Hsieh 2008 and Cheng & Sybesma 1999).4 However, dropping yi 'one' may be explained from a diachronic perspective, further

discussed by Lü(1999). Overall, numerals cannot be inserted before ge in V ge XP.

4 Hsieh (2008:126) considers that yi 'one' is just missing, illustrated as follows.

(i) xi (yi) ge shuo wash one GE hand 'wash hands'

(ii) shui (*yi) ge shi fenzhong sleep one GE ten minutes 'sleep for ten minutes '

On the other hand, Cheng & Sybesma (1999 ) argue that in the postverbal position, [classifier+NP] is not equal to [yi +classifier+NP] and propose two different structures.

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(21) a *kan liang ge dianying see two GE movie b. kan liang bu dianyin see two CL movie 'see two movies'

It is also interesting to note that in Taiwanese Southern Min (Li & Wang 2003), the numeral

yi 'one' is obligatory before ge.

(22) a. thian cit-e kua listen one-GE song 'listen to songs' b. ciah cit-e pa eat one-GE full 'eat to one's fill'

This contrast may be related to the parametric difference between Mandarin and Taiwanese Southern Min (or TSM) in nominal phrases. Classifier phrases are allowed to occur as objects in Mandarin while they are not allowed in TSM. In other words, in TSM, numerals cannot be dropped in the postverbal position. This indicates that ge still shares some properties with classifier ge. This comparison provides fertile ground for future studies.

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2.3. Classification of V ge XP: three subtypes

In this study, the V ge XP construction is divided into three types based on the category of the XP, i.e., NP, AP, and NumP.

I. V ge NP

(23) a. chi ge fan, (idiom noun)

eat GE rice

'have a meal'

b. he ge shui (mass noun)

drink GE water 'drink some water'

c. tiao ge wu

dance GE dance 'have a dance'

In this type, most V-NP examples are actually V-N compounds. The V ge NP is interpreted as a complex predicate consisting of 'do' and 'V-ing of (NP)'.

II. V ge Numeral phrases

As apposed to bare nouns in type I, numeral phrases with V are not V-N compounds; rather, they are objects or adjuncts of verbs. There are additional subtypes, illustrated as follows.

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A. Common objects of verb

(24) a. chi ge liang san wan fan eat GE two three CL-bowl rice 'eat two or three bowls of rice'

b. zhuan ge gi mao qian earn GE some cent money 'earn some cents of money'

B. Frequency phrases

(25) a. chi ge liang ci niupai eat GE two time steak 'eat steak twice'

b. su shi, yi ge yue chi ge liang san ci jiu hao, bu yao fast food, one CL month eat GE two three time just enough, not want

tai chang chi.

too often eat

'Fast food, eating it twice a month is enough; do not eat it too often.'

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(26) a. shui ge yi huier

sleep GE one while

'sleep for a while'

b. zou ge er san shi fenzhong

walk GE two three ten minutes

'walk for twenty or thirty minutes'

D. Quantifying phrases

(27) yin ge shi fen copy GE ten Cl 'print ten copies'

III. V ge AP

The adjective phrases (i.e., APs) denote result states or the extent of verbs, as in the following.

A. Adjectives

(28) chi ge guoyin/tongkuai

eat GE satisfied/ joyful

'eat to one's heart's content /joyfully'

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(29) a. wen ge yi-qing-er-chu

ask CL one-clear-two-clear

'ask for perfect clarity' b. shuai ge bi-qing-lian-zhong

stumble nose-bruise-face-swollen

'stumble and get seriously hurt'

2.3.1. V ge NP

First of all, the morphological features of V ge NP must be considered. Based on Li & Thompson (1981), the combination of verbs and objects includes two subtypes: (i) a verb-object compound, such as chou yan 'to smoke a cigarette' and shui jiao 'to have a sleep;' and (ii) a verb-object structure (not a compound), such as he tang 'to drink soup.'

Based on the definitions, it seems that ge can occur in both V-O compounds and V-O structures.5 In addition, the compositional property of ge and V-NP is further examined. In

Zhu (1984:110), the thematic relation between verbs and objects are varied, as illustrated in (30), where an object can be considered:

5 Li & Thompson (1981) further classify the verb-object compounds into three types, illustrated in the following examples. (i) geming 'revolution' (ii)shangfeng 'catch a cold' (iii)shuijiao 'sleep'

However, not all of these types allow the insertion of ge, e.g., *shang ge feng 'catch a cold'. There seems to be limitations for ge to occur in these verb-object compounds. The third type is more likely for the insertion of ge. Since the morphology of word compounds is not the main issue here, I will leave it to future studies. In this thesis, I only focus on the interpretation of ge in the V ge XP.

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(30) a. as a theme/patient of the action: ca boli 'clean glass' chi pingguo 'eat apples' b. as an agent of the action: lai keren 'come customers (there come customers)'

c. as an instrument used by the action: xi lengshui 'shower cold water (take a cold shower), chou yindou 'smoke a pipe (use a pipe to smoke)'

d. as a result caused by the action: gai fanzi 'build a house', xiexin 'write mails'

e. as a destination of the action: shang guangzhou 'go to Guangzhou', jin yiyuang 'go to hospital'

f. as the duration time of the action: zhu san tian 'live three days', deng yihuier 'wait a moment'

Ge can be inserted in front of these objects without changing their thematic relations, though

ambiguity can be found between classifier use and ge in some cases. There is also some limitation on ge occurring in verb-object compounds, but ge is quite free in verb-object structures. However, it is difficult to clearly distinguish compounds and structures, and the subtle distinction is not the main concern of the present work. Thus, they are classified into one type called “V ge NP”.

In addition to morphological issues of ge, the syntactic issue must be addressed. As mentioned earlier, whether ge is present or not does not affect the grammaticality of V-O compounds/structures, as shown in (31) and (32).

(31) Women yiqi qu chi fan! We together go eat rice 'Let's have a meal together!'

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(32) Women yiqi qu chi ge fan! We together go eat GE rice 'Let's have a meal together!'

Furthermore, the meaning of V ge NP in (32) is comprehended as V-NP in (31) in roughly the same way. However, according to the principle of economy in language use, there is no reason for the existence of two structures with exactly the same interpretation and function. Therefore, differences regarding the presence/absence of ge should be further explored and explained.

To begin with, a careful observation of the data is needed. V ge NP usually appears in contexts such as zhibuguo 'merely', lian 'even', cai 'just', eryi 'only', and jiu 'only,' which all imply a trivial reading, illustrated as follows.

(33) Cai pao ge bu  jiu  shou buliao, tili zhen cha.  just run GE step then tolerate endless, physical strength really bad 'It's only running and you cannot bear it. Your physical strength is really bad.'

(34) Ta lian xiaqu  dao ge lese dou yao shuzhuangdaban.  she even go down throw GE trash DOU want dress up

'Even if she is just going down to throw out trash, she still dresses up.'

(35) Women lian dao xibian  wan ge shui ye bu xing  ma?  we even to riverside play GE water also not allowed Q

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(36) Zhiyao tian ge wenjuan  jiu hao.  only fill GE questionnaire just fine 'Just fill in the questionnaire and that is all.'

(37) Tai daomei  le , tiao ge wu  ye chushi.  too miserable SFP, dance GE dance also have an accident 'How miserable! Even dancing could cause an accident.'

(38) Chi ge fan eryi,  you biyao  pao  zheme yuan ma? Eat GE rice only, have necessity run that far Q 'Is it necessary to go that far just to have a meal?'

(39) Ni shi xin  lai  de ma? lian dao ge cha ye bu hui?  you are new come DE Q? even pour GE tea also not can 'Are you new here? You cannot even pour tea.'

(40) Shang ge cesuo zhe dian xiao shi  ye yao baogao ma?  go GE toilet this kind small thing also need report Q 'Going to the toilet is such a small thing, is it necessary to report it?'

(41) Wo zhibuguo jiao ni si  ge wan,  you zheme tongku ma?  I merely call you wash GE bowl, have this pain Q 'I am just asking you to wash dishes. Is it that painful?'

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trivial matter such as drinking water, the expression is better transcribed in (42a) than (42b).

(42) a. Lian he ge shui ye yao jiangqiu yangsheng, tai kuazhang le!  even drink GE water also want address health, too exaggerate SFP 'Even when drinking water, attention must be paid to health. It is too much!' b. Lian he shui ye yao jiangqiu yangsheng, tai kuazhang  le. 

even drink water also want address health, too exaggerate SFP 'Even when drinking water, attention must be paid to health. It is too much!'

In the same way, the occurrence of ge is preferred in the following contexts, as illustrated in (43)-(45).

(43) a. Rang wo he  ge shui zai shuo.  let me drink GE water then speak 'Let me drink some water first.'

b. ?Rang wo he  shui zai shuo.  let me drink water then speak 'Let me drink some water first.'

(44) a. Women bu yong  hu song liwu, yiqi chi ge fan  jiu hao.  we not necessary each send gift, together eat GE meal just fine 'We do not have to send gifts to each other. Just having a meal together is fine.' b. ?Women bu yong  hu song liwu, yiqi chi fan  jiu hao. 

we not necessary each send gift, together eat meal just fine

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(45) a. Tianqi hen re,  shaowei zou ge lu  jiu hanliu-jiabei. weather very hot, a bit walk GE path just sweating   'It is very hot. A bit of walking will cause people to sweat a lot.' b. ?Tianqi hen re ,shaowei zou lu  jiu hanliu-jiabei.

weather very hot, a bit walk path just sweating   'It is very hot. A bit of walking will cause people to sweat a lot.'

Even though the above contrast is subtle, examples contrasting sharply are shown in (46) and (47). In the topic-comment sentences, when the comment denotes importance such as zheme

zhongda de shi 'such an important thing,' it is illegitimate for V ge NP such as jie ge hun 'get

married' to be its topic. This illegitimacy, as in (46b), further confirms that V ge NP denotes a trivial reading.

(46) a. Jie  hun  zheme zhongda de shi, ni juran  bu gen fumu  Marry marriage such important DE thing, you unexpectedly not with parents shangliang?!

discuss

'To get married is such an important thing, unexpectedly, and you do not discuss it with your parents?!'

b. *Jie  ge hun  zheme zhongda de shi, ni juran  bu gen fumu  Marry GE marriage such important DE thing, you unexpectedly not with parents shangliang!

discuss!

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In contrast, V ge NPs such as jie ge hun 'get married' is appropriate in contexts with trivial readings, as shown in (47).

(47) a. Zhibuguo shi jie  ge hun, you biyao  zheme puzhang-langfei ma? Merely  be marry GE marriage, have necessity such extravagant Q? 'Is it necessary to be that extravagant just to get married?'

b. Zhibuguo shi jie  hun, you biyao  zheme puzhang-langfei ma? Merely  be marry marriage, have necessity such extravagant Q? 'Is it necessary to be that extravagant just to get married?'

In addition to activity verbs, the above contrast is also shown in stative verbs. It is not intuitive for V ge NP to occur in contexts such as compliments. In (48b), admiration for a trivial thing is quite odd unless it denotes an ironic reading. A similar example is shown in (49). On the other hand, V ge NP such as hui ge yingwen 'understand GE English' is perfect in an unimportant and trivial context.6

(48) a. Ni  hui  fenlanwen, zhenshi liaobuqi! you understand Finnish,   really marvelous 'That you understand Finnish is really marvelous!' b. ??Ni  hui  ge fenlanwen, zhenshi liaobuqi! you understand GE Finnish,   really marvelous 'That you understand Finnish is really marvelous!'

6 Lin (2001) mentions that sentences with stative verbs represent “under evaluation”. His example is :

dong ge fawen, you sheme liaobuqi? 'Understanding French, is there any big deal?' His analysis will be discussed

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(49) Ni  hui  ge fawen, hao liaobuqi o! (Ironic) you understand GE French, good marvelous SFP

'That you understand French is really marvelous!'

(50) Hui   ge yingwen zheme xisong-pingchang de shi, ye gan na   understand GE English such trivial normal DE thing, also dare take chulai xuanyao! 

out show off

'Understanding English is such a trivial and normal thing; yet you also dare to use it to show off!'

To conclude, the examples discussed above have shown that V ge NP denotes a trivial reading.

2.3.2. V ge AP

Unlike the V ge NP construction, ge is obligatory in V ge AP, where APs include adjective phrases and idiom chunks.

(51) a. wan ge jinxing 

play GE one's heart's content 'play to one's heart's content' b. *wan jinxing 

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(52) a. chi ge  yi-gan-er-jing eat GE one-clean-two-clean 'eat up thoroughly'

b. *chi yi-gan-er-jing eat one-clean-two-clean

Ge also often occurs with idiom chunks, as shown in (53).

(53) a. chi ge guoyin eat GE satisfied

'eat to one's heart's content' b. wan ge tongkuai/ jinxing

play GE joyful/ to one's heart content 'play joyfully/ to one's heart content' c. he  ge bu-zui-bu-gui 

drink GE no-drunk-no-return 'drink to be dead drunk'

d. ku ge rou-chang-cun-duan  cry ge brokenhearted

'cry brokenheartedly'

e. da  ge bi-qing-lian-zhong  beat GE nose-bruise-face-swollen 'beaten black and blue'

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f. zhuang ge tou-po-xie-liu

hit GE head-broken-blood-flow

'hit so as to have one's head broken and bleeding (as a result of a savage beating)' g. qi  ge ban-si 

anger GE half-die

'very angry as if being half dead' h. die ge si-jiao-chao-tian 

fall GE four-leg-toward-sky 'fall on one's back'

i. ji  ge shui-xie-bu-tong  crowd GE water-leak-no-through 'very crowded ' j. xiao ge buting  smile GE nonstop 'smile nonstop' k. wang ge yi-gan-er-jing  forget GE one-clean-two-clean 'totally forget' l. da ge fensui hit GE smashed 'hit so as to be smashed' m. sha ge pian-jia-bu-liu  kill GE fragment-armor-no-leave 'kill so as to be completely wiped out'

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n. ai  ge si-qu-huo-lai  love GE die-go-live-come 'love very deeply'

o. du  ge tian-hun-di-an  study GE sky-murky-earth-dark 'study till dark all around'

p. gao ge tou-hun-nao-zhang  make GE head-dizzy-brain-swollen

'make (someone) dizzy and have a headache'

For the analysis of ge in V ge AP, there are two major proposals. Researchers who consider V

ge AP as a V-O (i.e. verb-object) construction tend to analyze ge as a classifier, such as Zhu

(1982), Shao (1984) and Shi (2006). Other studies which treat V ge AP/VP as a V-C (i.e., verb-complement) construction tend to analyze ge as a particle or a lexicon having the same function as de, such as in Lü (1984) and You (1983).

Since ge is often compared with de, the analysis concerning de should be considered first. The particle de contains two major functions, as illustrated in (54). (e.g. Zhu 1982 and Lü 1980).

(54) (i) denoting possibility

kan de jian 'able to see', na de dong 'able to take', shui de zhe 'able to sleep', chu de qu 'able to go out' 

(ii) introducing a manner/result complement.

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The second function of de is further classified into subtypes based on the properties of complements. In Li & Thompson (1981: 623-626), it is called 'complex stative construction,' containing two types of inferred meanings.

A. Manner inferred. The second predicate usually describes the manner of the first predicate.

(55) Ta pao de hen kuai he run DE very fast 'He runs very fast.'

B. Extent inferred. The event of the first predicate is done to such an extent that the result is the state expressed by the second predicate.

(56) a. Ta xiao de zan bu qilai he laugh DE stand no up

'He laughed so much that he could not stand up.' b. Ta zuo de hen lei

he walk DE very tired

'He walked till he got very tired.'

C. Either manner or extent inferred

(57) Women wan de hen tongkuai. we play DE very happy

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(ii) 'We play to the point of being very happy.' (extent inferred)

The manner inferred is also known as a descriptive complement construction. The extent inferred is considered to be a resultative complement construction (e.g., Huang 1988). 7

Ge and de may display similar constructions, though ge denotes the extent of the result only.

I. Manner

(58) ??Ta pao ge kuai he run GE fast 'He runs fast.'

II. Extent

(59) Wo xian wan ge jinxing zai huijia. I want play GE one's heart's content then go home 'I want to play to my heart's content and then go home.'

III. Either Manner or Extent

7 The resultative construction of de may also take a clause form.

(i) ta ku de shoupa dou shi le

he cry DE handkerchief also wet ASP

'He cried so much that even the handkerchief got wet.'

(ii) *ta ku ge shoupa dou shi le

he cry GE handkerchief also wet ASP

However, ge is not allowed to occur in this form. With respect to the ungrammaticality, since it is not the focus of this study, I leave it to future studies.

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(60) Women yiqi qu wan ge tongkuai (ba)! We together go play GE happy SFP we together go play DE very happy (i) ??'Let's play very happily.'

(ii) 'Let's play to the point of being happy.'

(61) Wo xiang chi ge guoyin,  zai hui jia.  I want eat GE satisfaction then go home (i) ??'I want to eat very satisfactorily and then go home.'

(ii) 'I want to eat to the point of being satisfied and then go home.'

For the mixed type III, the extent (or resultative) reading is also much easier to comprehend. In addition, the examples in V ge AP are of the resultative category. The second predicate is thus called the result state. The following examples focus on the resultative complement construction.

Concerning de, Huang (1988: 293-297) points out that there are two types of causatives, illustrated as follows.

(i) Inchoative resultative constructions

(62) Zhangsani zui de [ ei zhan bu qilai]

Zhangsan drunk DE stand no up

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(63) a. The syntactic representation

[S NP1 [VP[V' V1 [S'/AP (pro) V2 ]]]]

NP1: Agent/Experiencer V1: Action/State

V2: Result/Extent

b. [S Zhangsan [VP[V' zui de [S'/AP (pro) zhan bu qilai ]]]]

(ii) Causative constructions

(64) Zhe ping jiu zui de [Zhangsan zhan bu qilai] This Cl-bottle wine drunk DE [Zhangsan stand no up] 'This bottle of wine made Zhangsan too drunk to stand up.'

(65) a. The syntactic representation

[S NP1 [VP NP2 [ V' V1 [S'/AP (pro) V2 ]]]]

NP1: Causer NP2: Patient/Cause V1: Action

V2: Result/Extent

b. [S Zhe ping jiu [VP Zhangsan [V' zui de [S'/AP (pro) zhan bu qilai ]]]]

However, V ge AP only occurs in inchoative resultative constructions not in causative constructions. V ge AP may be assumed to display similar syntactic form as V de AP/S' in inchoative resultative constructions. In (66), [ge lan-zui-ru-ni] is assumed to be a functional

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phrase, though it will be revised in Chapter 4.

(66) [S Zhangsan [VP[V' he [FP ge [S'/AP (pro) lan-zui-ru-ni ] ]]]] cai hui jia

Zhangsan drink GE dead drunk then go home 'Zhangsan drank to be dead drunk, then went home. '

NP1: Agent/Experiencer V1: Action/State

V2: Result/Extent

Despite the similarity in the resultative complement constructions, ge also presents properties distinct from de.

First, the result states can be modified by degree adverbs such as shaowei 'a bit,' youdian

'a bit,' hen 'very,' and feichang 'extremely,' when occurring with de but not with ge, illustrated

in (67) and (68).

(67) a. wan de hen/feichang /geng  tongkuai  play DE very/extremely/more joyful 'play very/extremely/more joyfully' b. chi de shaowei/youdian bao

eat DE a bit / a bit full 'eat to the state of being a bit full'

(68) a. *wan ge hen/feichang /geng  tongkuai  play GE very/extremely/more joyful

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b. *chi ge shaowei/youdian bao eat GE a bit / a bit full  

It seems that the degree adverbs and ge display certain complementary distribution, in which they may have a similar function. The co-occurrence restriction will be further discussed in Chapter 4.

Consider (69), where the perfective aspect marker le can occur with ge but not with de.

(69) a. ta yi bu xiaoxin jiu die le  ge si-jiao-chao-tian.  He one not careful then fall ASP GE four-foot-toward-sky 'Without paying attention, he fell on his back.'

b. *ta yi bu xiaoxin jiu die le de  si-jiao-chao-tian.  He one not careful then fall ASP DE four-foot toward-sky

The aspect marker le indicates that the activity is done and the result is realized. One possible explanation is that de, marking a result state, has a similar aspectual function as le and thus forbids the co-occurrence. On the other hand, although ge introduces a result state, ge might not have such an aspectual function.

In addition, the perfective aspect marker le tends to occur with verbs containing inherent bounded meanings such as wang 'forget' (e.g. Li & Thompson 1981:195). The same is true for

shuai 'fall' and die 'fall'.

(70) a. Tian yu lu hua, hai ta shuai le  ge bi-qing-lian-zhong  weather rain road slippery, cause he fall ASP GE nose-bruise-face-swollen 'It is raining and the road is slippery; thus, he fell down and got bruises.'

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b. Shiqing tai duo, najian shi wo zaojiu wang le  ge yi-gan-er-jing  things too more, that thing I already forget ASP GE one-clear-two-clear 'There are too many things (to remember) and I have already forgotten that thing.'

However, verbs without inherent end points require certain contexts such as sequential events to license the occurrence of le, as illustrated in (71). This can also be compared with the V de AP/S' construction in (72).

(71) a. ?wo qu  Kending wan le  ge guoyin  I go Kending play ASP GE satisfied 'I went to Kending to have fun, and then returned.'   b. wo qu  Kending wan le ge guoyin cai huilai I go Kending play Asp GE satisfied then return 'I went to Kending to have fun, and then returned.'  

(72) wo qu  Kending wan de hen guoyin (cai huilai ) I go Kending play DE very satisfied (then return) 'I went to Kending to have fun, and then returned.'

The above evidence proves that ge does not functions like de in certain ways.

For the function of ge, Zhu (1982: 49, 121-122) argues that adjectives or verbs with a preceding ge become nominalized structures. The nominalized argument is considered as a degree object, which denotes a high degree. There are three types of the degree objects:

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shuo ge mingbai 'say clearly', wan er ge tongkuai 'play satisfactorily', pao le ge kuai 'run

fast' 

(ii) “ge”+buting 'nonstop' (buliao, buxiu, meiwan):

xiao ge buting 'smile endlessly', shuo le ge meiwan 'speak endlessly'

(iii) “ge”+ idioms:

da le ge luo hua liu shui 'hit very seriously', shuo ge yi qing er chu 'speak very clearly' 

( From Zhu 1982: 121-122)

However, it is doubtful that ge actually denotes a high degree since the adjectives denote high degree inherently from their lexicons.

2.3.3. V ge NumP

When ge occurs in front of numeral phrases, it presents an approximation of the numerals (cf. Zhu 1982: 49). More examples are shown in the following.

(73) a. Wo jianyi ni xian hua  ge liang bai  yuan  mai fuzhuang zazhi  I suggest you first spend GE two hundred dollars buy clothing magazine lai yanjiu kankan. 

to study try

'I suggest you spend two hundred dollars to buy a magazine about clothing to study.' b. Ta yi tian zhi qingxing ge ji  ge xiaoshi, qita shijian dou

he one day only wake GE several Cl hour, other time all zai hunshui. 

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'He is awake for a couple of hours a day, and asleep the rest of the time.' c. Zai  shou ge wu gongjin jiu hao 

more thin GE five kilo just fine 'Losing another five kilos is enough.'

d. Shuo dao aoye, ta ao ge san tian san ye  ye wusuowei, wo speak to stay up late, he stay GE three day three nights also indifferent, I lian ao  ge yi  tian dou mei banfa

even stay GE one day all no ways

'Speaking of staying up late, he is indifferent to staying up late for three days and nights, but I cannot even stay up late for one day.'

In addition, consider (74) and (75), V ge NumP is different from V ge NP in that it does not clearly express a trivial interpretation of the event. More specifically, V ge NumP is acceptable in contexts such as (74), which denotes a trivial meaning, as well as a context such as (75), which involves a significant event.

(74) He  ge liang san ping weishiji, zhe dian xiao shi, dui Zhangsan  drink GE two three bottle Whiskey, this bit small thing, for Zhangsan eryan, bu suan sheme. 

speak, not count what

'Drinking two or three bottles of whiskey, such a trivial thing, is no big deal for Zhangsan.'

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(75) Dian li  yao  jin  ge yi bai  ben  shu, zheme da de shi, Store inside want import GE one hundred CL-volume book, such big DE thing zenme mei gen laoban baobei ne? 

why not with boss notify Q

'To import one hundred of books is such a big thing, why don't you tell the boss?'

However, some adnominal quantifiers other than numerals are prohibited, illustrated in (76) (c.f. Chapter 2 DE). The ungrammaticality will be explained in Chapter 4.

(76) a. *Wo xiang jie  ge mei  yi ben   xiaoshuo lai  kan I want borrow GE every one CL-volume novel come see 'I want to borrow each novel to read.'

b. *Wo xiang jie  ge suoyou/dabufen de xiaoshuo lai  kan I want borrow GE all /most DE novel come see

'I want to borrow most novels to read.'

c. *Wo xiang jie  ge hendou ben   xiaoshuo lai  kan I want borrow GE many CL-volume novel come see

'I want to borrow many novels to read.'

d. *Wo xiang jie  ge zhe/na yi ben   xiaoshuo lai  kan I want borrow GE this/that one CL-volume novel come see

'I want to borrow this/that novel to read.'

2.4. Summary

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degree modifiers in V ge AP are elaborated. XPs are further divided into three subtypes (i.e., NP, NumP and AP) and then examined. Each type of V ge XP is summarized as follows.

I. V ge NP: do a trivial event such as V-NP

(77) a. wan ge shui play GE water

'do a trivial event such as playing water' b. nian ge shu

read GE book

'do a trivial event such as reading' c. hui ge fawen

understand GE French

'hold a trivial event such as understanding French'

II. V ge AP: do an event of V-ing to achieve some kind of state

(78) a. chi ge guoyin eat GE satisfied

'eat to the state of being satisfied' b. die ge si-jiaoi-chao-tian

fall GE four-foot-toward-sky

'fall to the state of being four-foot-toward-sky' (or, fall on one's back)

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(79) a. mai ge liang san ben shu

buy GE two three CL-volume book

'buy approximately two or three volumes of books' b. jie ge shi ben xiaoshou

borrow GE ten CL-volume novels

'borrow approximately ten volumes of novels'

In generalization, each type of V ge XP seems to share some property, which is the minimal part of the XP argument, illustrated in (80). The expression of the minimal part which relates to degree and quantity will be further discussed in Chapter 4.

(80) a. V ge NP: a trivial event →the minimal quantity on the scale of nouns

b. V ge AP: a certain state → the minimal degree of the existence of property on the scale of adjectives

c. V ge NumP: an approximate number→ the minimal quantity on the scale of numerals

Initially, ge is a classifier, but it loses its function to count a unit and thus denotes an uncertain quantity or degree, relatively very small, i.e., minimal. This property of ge is similar to the quantifying expressions mentioned in Doetjes (1997). Before further examining properties of

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CHAPTER 3

________________________________________________________________

LITERATURE REVIEW

The V ge XP construction has received ample attention in the literature. Significant studies include those by Lin (2001), Wu (2002), and Shu (2007, ms). These analyses make unique contributions to the field, but none provide a unified account of the interpretation of ge both syntactically and semantically. Such a unified account is the main goal of this study.

Initially, according to Lü (1980:221), ge is divided into two types of usages: one as a generalized classifier, the other related to action. For the latter, V ge Object, for example, expresses “liveliness” and “casualness,” illustrated as follows.

(81) (i) generalized individual classifier, such as yi ge ren 'one person'; lian ge pingguo 'two apples'

(ii) usage related to action

a) V+ge+objects. The whole phrase expresses liveliness and casualness. Xi ge zao, shui ge jiao, xiu xi xiu xi

wash CL shower, sleep CL sleep, relax relax 'Take a shower, take a sleep, and relax.'

The interpretation of action-related usage is plausible, but fails to address how to give a precise syntactic analysis to numerous examples.

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3.1. Lin (2001): The diminutive analysis

Lin (2001) uses the insertion of yi 'one' to distinguish the diminutive ge and the measure ge, illustrated as (82a) and (82b), respectively.

(82) a. chou *(yi) ge yan smoke one GE smoke 'have a smoke'

b. chi (yi) ge guoyin eat one GE satisfied 'eat to one's heart's content'

In Lin (2001:85), V ge NP, where yi is not allowed, is called diminutive construction, where

ge expresses 'under-evaluation' in the sense that ge diminutizes the event.

(83) Jie ge bi, hao ma ? (Example from Lin 2001) lend GE pen, good Q

'Would you please lend me a pen?'

In Lin's (2001: 88) approach, a sentence like (83) is derived from a structure like (84). The syntactic approach may refer to Huang's (1997) light verb syntax.

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(84) ... VP V' V VP | DO ge VP V DP | | jie bie 'borrow' 'pen' Head movement

Lin's analysis captures certain interpretations of ge in V ge (bare) NP. However, this analysis does not explain the definiteness effect in the sense that definite NPs cannot occur after ge. In addition, his study does not cover others examples such as V ge NumP, in which ge is measure ge or diminutive ge. In addition, as addressed in Chapter 2, numeral yi 'one' is not allowed to precede ge; thus, it is problematic to use yi 'one' as a test to distinguish diminutive

ge and measure ge. On the other hand, the interesting idea of “diminutive,” though not

altogether accurate, will be further discussed in Chapter 4.

3.2. Wu (2002): The DP analysis

In Wu (2002), ge in the V ge XP construction is used to count the event denoted by the predicate. Under her approach, ge is moved from a base-generated CL0 to a weak unselective

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(85) kan ge san bu dianying see GE three CL movie 'watch three movies'

(86) DP | D D0 NumP | | ge Num' Num0 ClP | | san Cl' 'three' Cl0 NP | | bu N0 CL | dianying 'movie'

For the example of pao ge feikuai 'run GE fast', she further argues that the adjective feikuai 'fast' is actually a nominalized phrase and thus licensed by the nominalizer ge. However, if an AABB form such as tongtongkuaikuai 'very joyful' is nominalized, it will then predict that the

de particle will take a nominalized secondary predicate. However, in an example such as wan de tongtongkuaikuai 'play very joyfully,' the secondary predicate following de is not

considered as a nominalized phrase in the literature. It is doubtful that the AABB form after

ge is a nominalized adjective phrase. Thus, in this study, predicates such as gouyin 'satisfied'

and tongkuai 'joyful' are still categorized as APs instead of nominalized APs.

In addition, Wu (2002) suggests that ge marks telicity and thus can cooccur with perfective marker le, but not with imperfective markers zai and zhe. The telic account is arguable. For an event to be telic, it must have a natural endpoint. For example, in an

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accomplishment predicate such as build a house, the endpoint is the point when the house is built. However, the endpoint is not clear in phrases such as pao ge bu 'have a run'. Another crucial example lies in stative verbs such that hui ge yingwen 'come to know English' is obviously not a telic event. Moreover, telic events can have the progressive form such as he is

building a house, while V ge XP cannot. The issue of the progressive should be further

studied.

3.3. Shu (2007, ms): The clitic analysis

Based on the morpho-syntactic perspective, Shu (2007, ms) proposes that the verbal ge is a clitic. This analysis seems to be plausible due to the fact that ge is always postverbal. However, the clitic analysis of ge cannot explain examples such as chi ta ge guoyin 'eat to one's heart's content', where ta, instead of ge, is much closer to the verb. In addition, the interpretation of ge and the associated XP is not clear under his analysis.

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CHAPTER 4

________________________________________________________________

THE PROPOSAL FOR GE AND ITS INTERPRETATION

In this chapter, based on Doetjes (1997)'s analysis of quantification, ge is proven to be a degree quantifier. In addition, from the semantic perspective, every phrase is demonstrated to specify a quantity or degree on a scale, and ge indicates the minimal part on the scale of XPs. In other words, ge denotes a unified degree quantificational meaning in the various types of phrases.

4.1. A Plausible Account: A diminutive marker

The trivial reading of V ge NP can be related to the diminutive analysis by Lin (2001 ). However, Lin's definition of diminutiveness is unclear and thus needs further examination. On the other hand, Jurafsky (1996) provides a precise semantic account for the diminutive from the cross-linguistic data. He uses different mechanisms to explain diminutives with widely varying senses such as small size, affection, approximation, intensification, imitation and female gender. Within the analysis, he also introduces the lambda abstraction specification to account for the quantificational meaning and second-order predicates in the diminutive.

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(87) dim (point x, scale y) = lower than x on y (Jurafsky1996: 555 )

For the diminutive, the concept is 'small (x)' is lambda-abstracted to 'lambda(y),' meaning smaller than the prototypical exemplar x on the scale y (Jurafsky1996: 557). Each diminutive sense has additional constraints of the type of the scale of y. Therefore, the lambda abstraction is followed by the respecification of the type of predicates, illustrated in Table 4.1.

Table 4.1 Second-order diminutives 8

ARGUMENT EXAMPLE IMPLICIT SCALE SENSE

Mass nouns/Plurals Snow→grain of snow Scale of amount partitive Gradable Predicates Red→ reddish Scale of redness approximation Count nouns Horse→ main part of

horse

Scale of size resemblance

Deitics Here→ soon Scale of deictic extent exactness Durative Verbs see→glance Scale of temporal extent briefness Propositions Scale of illocutionary force hedging

(Adopted from Jurafsky1996: 559) The interpretation of ge in V ge XP is similar to some types of diminutive senses mentioned by Jurafsky (1996).

First, consider the exactness sense. Mexican Spanish ahora 'now' has the diminutive form

ahorita, meaning 'just now, right now' (Jurafsky 1996: 550). In the example Here+DIM→ soon, via the metaphor time is space, diminution converts the extended regions of time to

points, producing expressions such 'right now.' Therefore, in the semantic stipulation, the second-order predicate 'exactly (p(x))' modifies predicates such as 'at-time(x)' or 'at-place(x)'

8 In the original version of the table, the examples only include arguments such as snow, I add the sense marked with diminutive such as 'grain of snow' for clearer understanding.

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on the scale of deictic extent.

The exactness sense may be associated with V ge AP. For example, the meaning of chi

ge guoyin is to reach the certain point of being gouyin 'satisfied'. This can be illustrated by

the example (88) as follows. In (88a), here can be presented as an extended region of time. Then, the diminutive converts the region to certain points, which is presented as the square of (88b). That is the meaning of soon 'right now'.

(88) a. here

b. soon

In the same way, guoyin 'satisfied' can be presented as a state as in (89a). Then, ge converts the extended scale of that state to a certain range as in (89b). More specifically, ge denotes that the minimal point of 'satisfied' must be achieved. This idea will be further explored in Chapter 4.

(89) a. gouyin 'satisfied'

b. chi ge gouyin 'eat to the point of being satisfied'

One type of pragmatic diminutive is called “hedging” (pp 556-557). For example, the diminutive sense 'only' is used not to modify the number itself, but to express a metalinguistic

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comment. Thus, just five fish includes the two speech acts: (i) an act of asserting 'five fish,' and (ii) an act of asserting that 'five' is a small or insignificant number.

By contrast, in the case of V ge NumP, the forward and backward denotation of cai 'just' can denote relatively small as in (90a) or big as in (90b) in the subjunctive mood. Thus, it is not clear whether NumP denotes a small or insignificant number. Rather, intuitively V ge NumP denotes senses such as approximation or exactness, which will be also discussed in Chapter 4.

(90) a. Ni  cai chi ge yi liang kou  hui bao ma? you just eat GE one two morsel will full Q? 'You just eat one or two morsels. Will you feel full?'

b. Wo dei  xie  ge qi ba  shi ye  cai neng biye.  I must write GE seven eight ten page just can graduate 'I have to write seventy and eighty pages, and then I can graduate.'

Another type of diminutives of propositions is called pragmatic diminutive, used in softening a request, such as Japanese chotto 'a little'. It can be also used when speakers desire to minimize the impact of a statement. The usages are summed as follows:

(91) The pragmatic diminutive

a. to soften a command, such as Japanese chotto b. to make the request less important or obligatory

Since V ge NP also denotes triviality, it may correspond to 'small' on the scale of importance. Consider the examples discussed above, is it possible to treat ge as a diminutive marker? The

數據

Table 2.1. The classifier system Number

Table 2.1.

The classifier system Number p.16
Table 4.1  Second-order diminutives  8

Table 4.1

Second-order diminutives 8 p.56
Table 4.2 Four classes of Qs  Classes of quantifying expression

Table 4.2

Four classes of Qs Classes of quantifying expression p.61
Table 4.3  Types of DQs                                                Deg-heads

Table 4.3

Types of DQs Deg-heads p.63

參考文獻

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