Light verb variations and varieties of Mandarin Chinese: Comparable corpus driven approaches to grammatical variations

Hongzhi Xu, Menghan Jiang, Jingxia Lin, Chu-ren Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This article presents a classification and clustering based study to account for the differences among five Chinese light verbs (congshi, gao, jiayi, jinxing, and zuo) as well as their variations in Mainland China Mandarin (ML) and Taiwan Mandarin (TW). Based on 13 linguistic features, both competition and co-development of these light verbs are studied in terms of their distinct and shared collocates. The proposed method discovers significant new grammatical differences in addition to confirming previously reported ones. Most significant discoveries include selectional restrictions differentiating deverbal nominals and event nouns, and degrees of transitivity of VO compounds. We also find that most variations between Mainland China Mandarin and Taiwan Mandarin are in fact differences in tendencies or preferences in contexts of usage of shared grammatical rules.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCorpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

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