Mandarin Chinese has a way of adding arguments to transitive verbs using the morpheme corresponding to ‘give’. It can appear either affixed to the main verb or as a preposition-like element, resulting in what looks like a double-object prepositional-dative alternation. In this paper, I examine their syntactic and semantic properties, arguing they both encode low applicative possessor semantics but have different syntactic structures. I outline a compositional syntax-semantics for deriving the alternation, the key component being a switch in the order of application of the semantic rules of function application and event identification that explains their identical semantics but different syntactic structures.
"Giving Verbs More Arguments in Mandarin Chinese,"
University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Vol. 26
, Article 26.
Available at: https://repository.upenn.edu/pwpl/vol26/iss1/26