Pluractionality via competition: VV in Mandarin Chinese


  • Shumian Ye
  • Yiyang Guo



This paper provides a pragmatic mechanism for deriving pluractionality of the Mandarin VV sequence formed with certain types of verbs. We propose: (i) Syntactically, VV is an instantiation of V-(NUMERAL)-CLASSIFIER, where the second V serves as a cognate verbal classifier. (ii) Semantically, VV denotes an unspecified quantity of events, with the unit of counting being the event itself. (iii) Based on this semantic analysis, pluractionality of VV formed with certain verbs can be derived through its competition with V-one-V. Meanwhile, we address the semantics of event-internal and event-external verbal classifiers (i.e., 'xia' vs. 'ci'). Our analysis of cognate classifiers can be further extended to the nominal domain.




How to Cite

Ye, S., & Guo, Y. (2023). Pluractionality via competition: VV in Mandarin Chinese. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 27, 729–747.