V-gei double object construction and extra argument in Mandarin

Yu-Yin Hsu, Teng Qu

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


This paper examines the syntax of a morphologically complex double object construction in Mandarin, V-gei structure, and uses the results as the basis for a new account of a special phenomenon: sentences with an extra experiencer. Following Pylkkänen's (2002) work on applicative phrases, we argue that different interpretations of the indirection object in double object construction can be accounted for by the differences between high and low applicatives. We adopt Paul and Whitman's (2010) raising applicative hypothesis to account for double object construction, and argue that the indirect object moves to the specifier of low applicative projection to be licensed with the goal reading. Further, we argue that this indirect object may optionally raise to the high applicative phrase to obtain the benefactive thematic role. This helps to explain the phenomenon of indirect objects not always carrying a benefactive reading. We then propose that an argument may directly merge with the high applicative head as its specifier, resulting in sentences with an (unexpected) extra argument expressing either a benefactive or a malfactive reading. Lastly, the structural properties of both the high applicative projection and the low applicative projection will be discussed in relation to passivization and the causative ba construction in Mandarin.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
Event33rd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2019 - Hakodate, Japan
Duration: 13 Sep 201915 Sep 2019


Conference33rd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2019


  • V-gei
  • double object
  • applicative structure
  • extra argument
  • experiencer
  • Mandarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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