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Why one can kill Rasputin twice in Mandarin


Mandarin Chinese allows so-called zero-change (failed-attempt) construals of causative monomorphemic verbs when the subject refers to an agent. However, while for nongradable causative simple verbs, this reading is generally available only when the verb is modified by a cardinality adverbial (e.g., liǎng cì 'twice'), with gradable causative simple verbs, the zero-change reading is readily available even in the absence of a cardinality adverbial, though the presence of such an adverbial does indeed facilitate it. We account for this puzzle by arguing that the source of non-culmination differs for gradable vs. non-gradable causative simple verbs: it lies in the partitive semantics of perfective le for non-gradable causative verbs, and/or the degree argument tracking the degree of event realization for gradable causative verbs.
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Dates et versions

hal-03704172 , version 1 (24-06-2022)



Fabienne Martin, Hongyuan Sun, Hamida Demirdache, Jinhong Liu. Why one can kill Rasputin twice in Mandarin. Sinn und Bedeutung 25, Sep 2020, Londres, United Kingdom. pp.618-635, ⟨10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.957⟩. ⟨hal-03704172⟩
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