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DECOMPOSITION OF PERFECTIVITY AND INCHOATIVITY AND THE MEANING OF THE PARTICLE LE IN MANDARIN CHINESE / 汉语中完成体和始成体的分解及“了”的意义

Ziqiang Shi
Journal of Chinese Linguistics
Vol. 18, No. 1 (JANUARY 1990), pp. 95-124
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23767131
Page Count: 30
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
DECOMPOSITION OF PERFECTIVITY AND INCHOATIVITY AND THE MEANING OF THE PARTICLE LE IN MANDARIN CHINESE / 汉语中完成体和始成体的分解及“了”的意义
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Abstract

It is believed that when the word le 了 occurs after the verb but before the complement of the verb it is a marker of Perfectivity, but when it is found after the complement of the verb at the end of the sentence it is a marker of Inchoativity. Perfectivity and Inchoativity have been thought to be aspectual primitives in the field of Tense and Aspect. In this article I argue that they are not aspectual primitives but are further decomposable into the Boundedness of situations and their Relative Anteriority status. Specifically, Perfectivity is the result of bounded situations viewed as relatively anterior, and Inchoativity obtains when unbounded situations are viewed as relatively anterior. According to this framework, there is only one le in Chinese not two, and its function is to signal relative anteriority of the situation it predicates. 一般认为“了”在动词和动词补语之间出现时表示完成,但在补语之后句末位置上则是始成的标记。完成和始成是被认为时体范畴中的基本体,但本文认为:完成和始成不是最基本的,可以进一步按它们的有界性及相对时序作分解。完成体是有界状态看作相对时序的结果;始成体是元界状态看作相对时序的结果。这样,“了”在不同的句法位置上有着相同核心意义:表示它所指的相对时序状态。.

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