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A Preliminary Investigation of Aspectual Features of Motion Verbs in Classical Chinese

  • Cheng Wang
Chapter
Part of the Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics book series (FiCL, volume 5)

Abstract

It is believed that Classical Chinese, though without grammatical category of aspect, has the lexical aspect. This chapter proposes that verbs in Classical Chinese contain semantic components related to aspectual meaning and the lack of morphological means is compensated by the rich contents of lexical words. It is argued, in discussing aspect, it is necessary to distinguish between the lexical level and the verb-phrase level. This chapter first probes into the aspectual features of motion verbs in Classical Chinese. The verbs of ascend-descend, transfer and passing are discussed based on the comparison of completeness and incompleteness of event structure. Then verbs of arrival and traversal are taken as examples to illustrate the interaction of aspectual features and situation types. Aspectual feature, the basis of situation type, is regarded as the intrinsic and constant property of verb meaning while situation type, co-determined by the verb and its context, is dynamic and changeable.

Keywords

Motion verb Classical Chinese Aspectual feature Situation type Event structure 

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Copyright information

© Peking University Press and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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