Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Linguistics (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



This work adopts Langacker's cognitive grammar approach and addresses the cognitive significance of result in Mandarin Chinese, as expressed in resultant construals in the Mandarin Chinese bă construction: X bă Y Z. I identify the semantic prime of result in Mandarin Chinese, and discuss its role in the resultative verbal compound construction, the V-de-EXT resultative construction, and the bèi construction, with particular focus on the bă construction. I provide evidence for the resultant nature of segment Z in the bă construction in (1) aspectual markers, (2) resultative suffixes, (3) resultative verbal compounds, (4) locative complements, (5) directional complements, (6) the double object gěi 'give' construction, (7) inalienable possession; (8) durative and frequentative markers; and (9) the regard predicate. I consider the semantic category of result in the Mandarin Chinese bă construction to be grounded in the conceptualization of the morpheme bă 'to take, to hold.' The manipulative sense of holding an object is transformed into a metaphorical resultative sense of holding a grammatical event. Comparisons with the English "get/have + p.p. construction" and the German inseparable prefixes reveal the shared cross-linguistic nature of agency and result. I utilize Grosz, Joshi, and Weinstein's (1995) centering discourse approach to analyze the Mandarin Chinese bă construction X bă Y Z, and determine that segment Y is the backward-looking center. Prince's assumed familiarity accounts for the cognitive constraints of segment Y. I ascribe the cognitive significance of result to the claim of construal differences. I apply cognitive relativism to pedagogical implications for SLA instruction of the Mandarin Chinese bă construction.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mary Jill Brody



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Linguistics Commons