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On the Property of Resultative Construction: From the Perspective of Lexicalization

Dong XiufangChinese Department Of Peking University, Beijing 100871  
There exists a long time controversy with regard to the nature of resultative construction in Chinese. Some scholars think that this kind of construction is syntactical and some others think that it is lexical. This paper argues that the resultative construction was diachronically the result of lexicalization and finally became a morphological pattern synchronically. Thus, it is lexical in nature. The origin of resultative construction did not create a new position between verb and its object. It only changed the way of expressing causativity, that is, from expressing causativity within one syllable through inflection to expressing it by compounding. Evidences support identifying resultative construction as lexical, and the reasons mentioned in the literature that support identifying the resultative construction as syntactical can be explained another way.
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