The co-occurrence of two delimiters: An investigation of Mandarin Chinese resultatives

Jingxia Lin, Chu-ren Huang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Tenny (1987, 1994: 79) proposes the Single Delimiting Constraint that the event described by a verb can only be delimited once (cf. Goldberg 1991, 1995). The constraint applies the effects of delimitedness as an aspectual property to the mapping of semantics and syntax, and explains why sentences with two delimiters (e.g., *Martha wiped the table dry 1 clean 2 Tenny 1994: 80) are unacceptable. The constraint is challenged with English counterexamples and modified by Matsumoto (2006) and Zhou (2008). However, this study proposes that the constraint holds for Mandarin Chinese resultatives, whereas the revised constraints do not. Furthermore, we point out that while two independent delimiters usually do not co-occur in Chinese, a second delimiter that further specifies or reinforces the endpoint/ endstate denoted by the first delimiter is allowed (cf. Tenny 1994, Goldberg 1991). The results of this study may shed light on event structure of Chinese.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPACLIC 25 - Proceedings of the 25th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Event25th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 25 - , Singapore
Duration: 16 Dec 201118 Dec 2011


Conference25th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 25


  • Mandarin chinese resultatives
  • Single delimiting constraint
  • Unique path constraint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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