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The Mechanism for the Formation of Separable Words and Incompleted Words: And the Mechanism for the Formation of Pseudo-attributives

Guo Rui;Department of Chinese Language and Literature,Peking University;  
There are two special types of compound words in Mandarin,i. e.,separable words and incompleted words. Separable words refer to the words whose constituents can be separated from each other in use. Incompleted words are the words which allow the absence of certain constituents in use. It seems that the grammatical behaviors of these compound words violate the principle of ‘lexical integrity'. Nonetheless,our study reveals that this ‘violation'is indeed a false appearance because both the separation and the absence of constituents are the result of a phonetic change,that is ‘haplology'. In other words,the peculiar behaviors of separable words and incompleted words actually do not violate the ‘lexical integrity'in syntax. Furthermore,we find that the haplology occurring in these two types of words is subject to the following two principles: in our terminology,one is called ‘retention of the ends' and the other is ‘categorical consistency to the head'.In our analysis,a separable word,in fact,is two incompleted words appearing fore and after respectively in a sentence. As for them,the most important subtype is the one which derives from the construction ‘light verb+lexical verb'through duplication and deletion of the lexical verb. Besides,the ‘light verb+lexical verb'construction is structurally the same with the pseudo-attributive construction in essence. The latter construction,in which the attributive and the head are malposed in semantics and syntax,is generated by deleting one verb in the surface structure due to that the verb emerges twice in the deep structure.
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