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Harvard Linguistics 171 Handout 2

Harvard Linguistics 171 Handout 2

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Published by: J on Dec 06, 2007
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Chapter 1 Categories1.1. Lexical categories1.1.1. Verbs and Nouns – Basic distinctions
Properties distinguishing between V and N
lack of morphological clues.
syntactic, distributional criteriaa.
Negation and A-not-A questionb.
Aspectual markersc.
Ability to take an NP object: V can assign case, but N does not. (e.g.,
 fanyi, fanxiu, yanjiu, chuli, shuoming, guanxin, danxin,
etc. )
High degree of polysemya.
Possible candidate for an ‘exoskeletal’ approach or ‘constructionist’ approach,according to which the Lexical items are unspecified or underspecified for theirsyntactic categories. (cf. Borer 2005)b.
Or nominalization or denominalization to relate these forms?
But many nouns and verbs do not exhibit polysemy: hence such a ‘strong’constructionist approach is totally inappropriate.
da-si ‘hit-dead’, ti-po ‘kick-broken’, qie-kai ‘cut-open’ (verbs)
huoji ‘turkey’, niurou ‘beef’, shuben ‘book’, pingguo ‘apple’
?ta de qie-kai xigua
‘his cutting the watermelon open’; *
ta dui xigua deqie-kai
‘his cutting open of the watermelon’.
action nominalization vs.gerundive nominalization. (In gerundive nominalization, VP or IP isnominalized, but V is not.)
N and V are two proto-categories, generally
 (1) Feature-based characterization of lexical categories (preliminary)[N] + + - -[V] - + - +FeatureCategory N?? V
1.1.2. Localizers
Required of NP/DPs used to denote locations, except those NP/DPs that areinherently locational. Object-denoting NPs are ‘pure’ in object-denoting.(“analytic”)
Distribute like Ns – in argument positions, as subject, object of verbs and of prepositions. In adjunct positions, need to be introduced by
. Paraphrasable asNPs, too.
Postpositions? Not. (cf. Li and Thompson 1981) [The fact that N+L may take apreposition is not itself evidence against N+L it being an adposition (postposition)phrase—cf.
 from under the table, from behind.
The fact that in adjunct positions N+L
take P is evidence that it is not adpositional.]
Do not combine with classifiers (“like P”?) – unlike a full-fledged N
Not a case of ‘multiple status’ or polysemy. L exhibits dual properties of N and atthe same time, not depending on its environment, unlike
 zai, gei, gen
, etc.)(2) a. wuzi li/limian
wuzi de limianroom inside room DE insideb.
chuang xia/dixia
chuang de dixiabed underneath bed DE underneathc.
da shu pang/pangbian
da shu de pangbianbig tree side big tree DE side(3) a. wo tingshuo na-zhang chuang dixia cang-le henduo shoushi.I hear that-Cl bed underneath hide-asp a.lot.of jewelry‘I heard that underneath that bed were hidden a lot of jewelry.’b.
na-zhang chuang dixia, wo tingshuo cang-le henduo shoushi.that-Cl bed underneath I hear hide-asp a.lot.of jewelry‘Underneath that bed, I heard there were hidden a lot of jewelry.’(4) a. ta dagai *(zai) Boston zu-le yi-jian gongyu.he probably P Boston rent-Asp one-Cl apartment‘He probably rented an apartment *(in) Boston.’b. ta dagai *(zai) cheng wai/li zu-le yi-jian gongyu.he probably P city outside/inside rent-Asp one-Cl apartment‘He probably rented an apartment outside/inside the city.’(5) Classifiersyi-zhang chuang, si-tiao tui, zhe-ke shu, na-pian pione-Cl bed four-Cl leg this-Cl tree that-Cl bark‘a bed’ ‘four legs’ ‘this tree’ ‘that bark’(6) a. si-tiao chuang tui vs. *si-zhang chuang tuifour-Cl bed leg four-Cl bed legb. zhe-pian shu pi vs. *zhe-ke shu pithis-Cl tree bark that-Cl tree bark
(7) a. (?)si-tiao chuang de tui vs. si-zhang chuang de tuifour-Cl bed leg four-Cl bed legb. (?)zhe-pian shu de pi vs. zhe-ke shu de pithis-Cl tree de bark this-Cl tree de bark
Difference between (6) and (7):
is an N,
chuang de tui
is an NP(8) [
… [
… bed ] de leg ]
Monosyllabic localizer: bound form. Hence it might be that
is acompound on a par with
. But this wrongly predicts that CL cannot agreewith
:(9) a. yi-zhang chuang xiaone-Cl bed underneath‘beneath a bed’b. zhe-shan men houthis-Cl door behind‘behind this door’c. na-jian wu lithat-Cl house inside‘inside that house’
Disyllabic localizer: can be a free form like a full NP (
qiantou, pangbian, waibian,shangmian, dixia, houtou, libian
etc.) Examples:
Free-form localizers can also take classifiers when used independently or with
.(Though examples are generally unnatural, for independent reasons presumably.)
However, when used without
, they all behave like monosyllabic localizers.(10) a. yi-zhang chuang dixiaone-Cl bed underneath‘beneath a bed’b. zhe-shan men houtouthis-Cl door behind‘behind this door’c. na-jian wuzi libianthat-Cl house inside‘inside that house’

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