Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 335–380

The Syntax of Aspect in Thai


DOI: 10.1007/s11049-004-0488-8

Cite this article as:
Koenig, JP. & Muansuwan, N. Nat Lang Linguist Theory (2005) 23: 335. doi:10.1007/s11049-004-0488-8


This paper describes the syntax and semantics of the aspect system of Thai. Its interaction between linear order and scope has not been described in detail in the previous literature and its complexity makes it particularly relevant to discussions of the similarity of syntactic and semantic structures. It is argued that Thai presents challenges to some hypotheses about the interface between the syntax and semantics of semantic modifiers, in particular, Cinque’s (1999) hypothesis that the semantic structures of modifiers are isomorphic to the syntactic structures that express them, as well as Kayne’s (1994) Linear Correspondence Axiom. The syntax of aspect in Thai suggests that syntactic and semantic structures are independent levels of representation that are not mapped uniformly onto each other and that a functional category’s lexical entry must record both its part of speech and its combinatorial potential.

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Computer Engineering DepartmentKing Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiBangmod, ThungkruThailand