Thumbnail Image
1565563.pdf(76.76 MB)
No. of downloads: 17
Publication or External Link
Wu, Daoping
Hornstein, Norbert
The term serial verb construction (SVC) refers to a construction in which more than one verb are not connected by any lexical device such as conjunction and punctuation, etc.. This construction is quite popular in Chinese, Caribbean creoles, West African languages, and Dravidian languages. Structurally, the SVCs may be compounds, clauses or phrases. The clausal SVCs have been attested in all the serialized languages. The compound SVcs are reported in Chinese and Edo. Only a few instances of phrasal SVCs have been found in Dravidian languages. The compound SVCs in Chinese can consist of two verbs or a verb plus an adjective. The productive compound can only have the following structures: V trans. +V intrans., V trans + A and V intrans. + A. Among the three compounds, the head of the compound must link to both the external and the internal arguments when it is transitive. The nonhead adjective can link to either the external argument or the internal argument, while the nonhead verb can only link to the internal argument, and in most cases, the intransitive verb must be unaccusative. Feature Percolation Convention and the Case requirements generate all the grammatical compound SVCs and rule out all the ungrammatical ones. These rules also can well account for the differences between the VV compound and the VA compound. This conforms to what the Feature Percolation Convention and the Case requirement predict. It is suggested that the syntactic SVCs under discussion are clausal because of facts concerning their binding properties. This analysis is first proposed by Bickerton & Iatridou(1989) in their study of the Caribbean creoles. With this analysis, if the first verb in an SVC is in the matrix clause, the second verb is in an adjunct clause attached to the V' position of the matrix clause. This analysis obtains support from Chinese. In this respect, the only difference between Chinese and the Caribbean creoles is that the adjunct clause has two adjoining positions. Furthermore it is proposed in this thesis that the adjunct clause is a CP rather than an IP.