English Language, Literature & Culture

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Hierarchy in the Telicity of Mandarin Accomplishments

The double-incremental-theme effect suggests that the telicity effect of different incremental objects of accomplishments depends on each other in English. This paper shows that this kind of aspectual effect is not manifested in accomplishments in Mandarin. The assumption is that the telicity effect of different incremental objects of an accomplishment is independent of each other in Mandarin. The quantization of the theme determines the telicity of a motion predicate or a change-of-state predicate, whose telicity is originally supposed to be contributed by the boundedness of the path or the scale of the change of state. When the figure is with quantized reference, a motion predicate in Mandarin is telic whether the path is bounded or not. Likewise, the change-of-state predicate in Mandarin, with a theme of quantized reference, is telic, no matter whether the relevant change of the state on the scale involved is bounded or not. Therefore, this study argues that there is a hierarchy in incremental themes that are co-occurring to contribute to the aspectual effect of accomplishments in Mandarin. For motion predicates and change-of-state predicates in Mandarin, the quantization of the incremental theme is more decisive in determining their telicity than the boundedness of the path or change-of-state in question.

Telicity, Motion Predicates, Change-of-State Predicates, Quantization, Mandarin Accomplishment

APA Style

Mengjie Zhang. (2023). Hierarchy in the Telicity of Mandarin Accomplishments. English Language, Literature & Culture, 8(3), 77-82. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ellc.20230803.18

ACS Style

Mengjie Zhang. Hierarchy in the Telicity of Mandarin Accomplishments. Engl. Lang. Lit. Cult. 2023, 8(3), 77-82. doi: 10.11648/j.ellc.20230803.18

AMA Style

Mengjie Zhang. Hierarchy in the Telicity of Mandarin Accomplishments. Engl Lang Lit Cult. 2023;8(3):77-82. doi: 10.11648/j.ellc.20230803.18

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Vendler, Z. (1957). Verbs and Times. The Philosophical Review, 66, 143-160.
2. Dowty, D. (1991). Thematic Proto-Roles and Argument Selection. Language, 67, 547-619.
3. Krifka, M. (1989). Nominal reference, temporal constitution and quantification in event semantics. In R. Bartsch, J. van Benthem, & P. van Emde Boas (Eds.), Semantics and Contextual Expression (pp. 75-115). Dordrecht: Foris.
4. Krifka, M. (1998). The origins of telicity. In S. Rothstein (Ed.), Events and Grammar (pp. 197-235). Dordrecht: Kluwer.
5. Verkuyl, H. J. (1993). A Theory of Aspectuality: the Inference between Temporal and Atemporal Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
6. Dowty, D. (1979). Word Meaning and Montague Grammar: The Semantics of verbs and times in Generative Semantics and in Montague’s PTQ. Dordrecht: Reidel.
7. Zhang, A. (2018). On Non-Culminating Accomplishments in Mandarin. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Chicago.
8. Zhang, X. (2021). An experimental comparative study on the lexical semantics of Chinese and French Accomplishments. Foreign Language Teaching and Research, (5), 682-799.
9. Zhang, M. & Y., Lin. 2019. On non-culminating accomplishments in Mandarin Chinese. Modern Foreign Languages, (5), 585-596.
10. Yang, J. & Y., Wu. (2015). Revisiting the (non-) existence of accomplishments in Chinese. Modern Foreign Languages (6): 731-741.
11. Filip, H. (1999). Aspect, Eventuality Types, and Nominal Reference. Garland, New York.
12. Beavers, J. (2012). Multiple incremental themes and figure/path relations. In Proceedings of SALT XVIII.
13. Jackendoff, R. (1996). The Proper Treatment of Measuring Out, Telicity, and Perhaps Event Quantification in English. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 14, 305-354.
14. Yang, S. (1995). The Aspectual System of Chinese. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of Victoria.
15. Wang, Y. (2012). A procedural analysis of the eventualites of VPs with resultative objects. Chinese Teaching in the World, 3, 335-347.
16. Fan, X. (2021). The Grammatical Heterogeneity of LE1 and LE2 in Mandarin. Beijing: Peking University Press.