University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Mandarin Resultative Verb Compounds (RVCs) are verbal complexes of the form V1-V2, where V1 denotes an activity and V2 the result of that activity. Previous literature either assigns to RVCs a Complex Verb structure [V V1-V2] (Li 1990, Williams 2012) or a Small Clause structure [V1P V1 [SCV2]] (Sybesma 1999). In the paper, I will propose a VP Complementation syntax for Mandarin RVC [V1P V1 [V2PV2P]] (similar to Sybesma 1999 but contra Williams 2011,see (1) (Also, in (1) there are multiple V-to-v movements, see Collins 2002)) and present new data to support it. Specifically, the data involves two types of Event Modifiers Duratives and Locatives, and I will show those event modifiers can modify either V1 or V2, independently; also, the positions of these modifiers determine their interpretations and that certain positions of Duratives are not allowed, all of which are predicted by the VP Complementation syntax.