Two types of verb reduplications in Mandarin Chinese

Zhu Xie*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    This paper analyzes verb reduplication in Mandarin Chinese under a lexicalist framework. By adopting the Lexicalist Hypothesis proposed by Chomsky (1970), a distinction has been made between syntactic and morphological verb reduplications by means of five tests: productivity, le insertion, categorial stability, transitivity, and input/output constraints. It is found that the AA and ABAB patterns of verb reduplication have relatively high productivity and regular syntactic behaviors, whereas the AABB pattern of verb reduplication shows extremely low productivity and syntactic idiosyncrasy. Given these observations, this paper proposes that the AA and ABAB patterns should be syntactic verb reduplications derived at the syntactic level, whereas the AABB pattern should be morphological verb reduplication formed in the lexicon. The two types of verb reduplications have different generative mechanisms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-108
    Number of pages36
    JournalStudies in Chinese Linguistics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © 2020 Zhu Xie, published by Sciendo 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Chinese title of the article: 漢語普通話的兩種動詞重疊


    • Lexicalist Hypothesis
    • lexicon
    • productivity
    • verb reduplication


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