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The Motivation of Surface Unaccusativity in Chinese

Date: May 5,2023 |Hits: 122 Download PDF How to cite this paper

Ruijia Zhang

North China Electric Power University, Beijing, China.

*Corresponding author: Ruijia Zhang


Surface unaccusativity phenomenon refers to the phenomenon that the pivot noun can be in either the subject position or the object position in English or Chinese existential sentences. Both English and Chinese generally use the unaccusativity hypothesis to explain the surface unaccusativity phenomenon. Based on the theoretical framework of cognitive grammar, this paper points out that the reason for the emergence of the surface unaccusativity phenomenon in Chinese is that in Chinese, the meaning of the basic construction of existence is possession. This results in the differentiation of the existence expression, the differentiation between the you construction and the zai construction. After the expansion of the concept of existence, the corresponding constructions are also expanded. The extended concept and the extended construction maintain the source concept, and the basic characteristics of the source constructions are still differentiated. The extended you construction expresses the existence of virtual entities. Due to the interaction between the constructional meaning and the conceptual meaning, the surface unaccusativity phenomenon occurs.


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How to cite this paper

The Motivation of Surface Unaccusativity in Chinese

How to cite this paper: Ruijia Zhang. (2023) The Motivation of Surface Unaccusativity in Chinese. Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science7(3), 594-597.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2023.03.021

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