Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 335–380

The Syntax of Aspect in Thai



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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abeillé, Anne, Danièle, Godard, Ivan, Sag 1998

    Two Kinds of Composition in French Complex Predicates

    Hinrichs, E.athol, A.Nakazawa, T. eds. Syntax and Semantics 30 Complex Predicates in Non-derivational Syntax.Academic PressSan Diego141
    Google Scholar
  2. Aissen, Judith. 1974/1979The Syntax of Causative ConstructionsGarlandNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexiadou, Artemis. 1997Adverb PlacementJohn BenjaminsAmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  4. Bach, Emmon. 1988

    Categorial Grammars as Theories of Language

    Oehrle, R.Bach, E. eds. Categorial Grammars, and Natural Language Structures.D ReidelDordrecht1734
    Google Scholar
  5. Baldridge Jason. (2002). Lexically Specified Derivational Control in Combinatory Categorial Grammar, Ph.D. thesis, University of Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  6. Boonyapatipark Tasanali. (1983). A study of aspect in Thai, Ph.D. thesis, University of London.Google Scholar
  7. Bresnan, Joan. 1982

    Control and complementation

    Bresnan, J. eds. The Mental Representation of Grammatical Relations.MIT PressCambridge MA292390
    Google Scholar
  8. Chomsky, Noam. 1986Knowledge of LanguagePraegerNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999Adverbs and Functional Heads: A Cross-Linguistic PerspectiveOxford University PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Cinque, Guglielmo. 2001

    The status of “mobile” suffixes

    Bisang, W. eds. Aspects of Typology and Universals.Akademie VerlagBerlin1519
    Google Scholar
  11. Cinque, Guglielmo. 2002

    The interaction of Passive, Causative, and “Restructuring” in Romance

    Tortora, C. eds. The Syntax of Italian Dialects.Oxford University PressNew York5066
    Google Scholar
  12. Copestake Anne, Dan Flickinger and Ivan A. Sag. (2003). Minimal Recursion Semantics: an introduction, under review.Google Scholar
  13. Copestake Anne, Alex Lascarides and Dan Flickinger. (2001). An Algebra for Semantic Construction in Constraint-based Grammars, in Proceedings of the 39th ACL meeting. Toulouse, France, pp. 132–139Google Scholar
  14. Swart, Henriëtte. 1998Aspect Shift and CoercionNatural Language and Linguistic Theory16347385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ekniyom Peansiri. (1979). An internal reconstruction of auxiliaries in Thai, in University of Hawaii Working Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 11, pp. 55–65Google Scholar
  16. Fillmore, Charles, Paul, Kay, Catherine, O’Connor. 1988Regularity and idiomaticity in Grammatical Constructions the case of Let alone, Language.64501538Google Scholar
  17. Flickinger Dan. (1987). Lexical rules in the hierarchical lexicon, Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  18. Fodor, Jerry. 1983The Modularity of MindMIT PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  19. Ginzburg, Jonathan, Ivan, Sag. 2001Interrogative Investigations The Form, Meaning, and Use of English InterrogativesCSLI PublicationsStanfordGoogle Scholar
  20. Giorgi, Aleessandra, Fabio, Pianesi 1997Tense and Aspect From Semantics to MorphosyntaxOxford University PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  21. Haas, Mary. 1964Thai-English Student’s DictionaryStanford University PressStanfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Hinrichs, Erhard, Tsuneko, Nazakawa. 1994

    Linearizing Finite AUX in German Complex VPs

    Nerbonne, J.Netter, K.Pollard, C. eds. German Grammar in HPSG.CSLI PublicationsStanford1127
    Google Scholar
  23. Jackendoff, Ray. 1997Twistin’ the night awayLanguage73534559Google Scholar
  24. Jacobson, Pauline. 1990Raising as function compositionLinguistics and Philosophy13423475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kanchanawan Nitaya. (1978). Expression for time in the Thai Verb and Its Application to Thai-English Machine Translation, Ph.D. thesis, University of Texas at Austin.Google Scholar
  26. Kayne, Richard 1994The Antisymmetry of SyntaxMIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  27. Klein, Ewan 1980A semantics for positive and comparative adjectivesLinguistics and Philosophy4145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Koenig, Jean-Pierre, Nuttanart, Muansuwan. 2000How to end without ever finishing Thai semi-perfective markersJournal of Semantics17147184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Landman, Fred 1996


    Lappin, S. eds. Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory.BlackwellOxford425457
    Google Scholar
  30. Moens, Marc, Mark, Steedman. 1988Temporal ontology and temporal referenceComputational Linguistics141528Google Scholar
  31. Moore John: (1991). Reduced Constructions in Spanish, Ph.D. thesis, University of California at Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
  32. Muansuwan Nuttanart. (2002). Verb Complexes in Thai, Ph.D. thesis, The State University of New York at Buffalo.Google Scholar
  33. Pollard, Carl, Ivan, Sag 1994Head-Driven Phrase-Strucutre GrammarChicago University PressChicagoGoogle Scholar
  34. Pollock, Jean-Yves 1989Verb Movement, Universal Grammar, and the Structure of IPLinguistic Inquiry20365424Google Scholar
  35. Rizzi, Luigi 1990Relativized MinimailityMIT PressCambridge MAGoogle Scholar
  36. Rosen, Sarah. 1990Argument Structure and Complex PredicatesGarlandNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Rouveret, Marc, Jean-Roger, Vergnaud. 1980Specifying reference to the subjectLinguistic Inquiry1197202Google Scholar
  38. Sadock Jerry (1990). Parts of speech in Autolexical Syntax. In: Hall K. et al. (eds) Proceedings of the 17th annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, Vol. 17. Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley, pp. 269–281Google Scholar
  39. Sag, Ivan, Tom, Wasow, Emily, Bender 2003Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction, 2nd editionCSLI PublicationsStanfordGoogle Scholar
  40. Scovel Thomas. (1970). A Grammar of Time in Thai, Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  41. Shelstad Lorraine. (1990). Functional Categories and Thai, Master’s thesis, University of Calgary.Google Scholar
  42. Singhapreecha Pornsiri. (2000). The Acquisition of Case, Tense, and Agreement Features: A Study of Thai Learners of English, Ph.D. thesis, City University of New York.Google Scholar
  43. Smith, Carlotta 1997The Parameter of AspectKluwerDordrechtGoogle Scholar
  44. Sookgasem Prapa. (1990). Morphology, Syntax, and Semantics of Auxiliaries in Thai, Ph.D. thesis, University of Arizona.Google Scholar
  45. Steedman, Mark 2000The Syntactic ProcessMIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  46. Sybesma, Rint 1995The Mandarin, VPKluwerDordrechtGoogle Scholar
  47. ter Meulen, Alice 1995Representing Time in Natural LanguagesMIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  48. Thepkanjana Kingkarn (1986). Serial Verb Constructions in Thai, Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  49. Thráinsson, Höskuldur 1996

    On the (non-) universality of functional categories

    Abraham, W.Epstein, S.D.Thráinsson, H.Zwart, C. eds. Minimal IdeasJohn BenjaminsAmsterdam253281
    Google Scholar
  50. Van Valin, Robert, Randy, Lapolla 1997Syntax: Form, Meaning, and FunctionCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations