In his treatment of Claudia Brugman's work on the English preposition over, Lakoff (1987) extends Brugman's analysis of that preposition as a radial category, one in which the different meanings of the word can be described in terms of a category structured radically, containing with a central sense from which other senses are extended. This type of analysis has been applied to classifiers, as in Dixon's (1982) famous look at Dyirbal's 4-way system and Lakoff's (1987) analysis of Japanese hon, as well as to prepositions such as English over (Brugman 1981) and out (Lindner 1981). In this paper I will attempt to use similar ideas to structure my look at two post-verbal complements in Mandarin Chinese
[...] Finally, there is a sense of hǎo that doesn't have anything to do with attainments at all but instead simply mark that the action is finished, much like the central sense of wán (except that the verb need not denote an event extended over time). Furthermore, these uses seem to be associated with moods and more polite or affectionate language. As part of the radial category, this may extend either from Favorable Attainment or from Attainment, but because of the domain in which it is appropriate, I will associate this sense, Politeness hǎo, with Favorable Attainment, since polite language itself is associated with favorable results. [...]
[...] Lindner, Susan Jean A lexico-semantic analysis of English verb- particle constructions with OUT and UP. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, San Diego. For most examples, I will provide only the Chinese transcribed in Hanyu pinyin and a rough English translation. Hǎo and wán will appear attached to the end of the verb, but I am not addressing the morphosyntax of postverbal complements. By completion, I mean that wán indicates the completed state of a event; if the event has stopped in the middle, the use of wán indicates that the event will not restart. [...]
[...] I suspect that using the Patient Exhaustion sense of wán depends more on the semantics of the verb phrase as a whole, but provided that the Patient is plural as specified in the definition I offered, I would predict that the range of usages would actually be fairly broad, but this is not a line of inquiry I was able to pursue. Hǎo is predictably permissible with many of the same basic verbs as wán, mostly under its own central case, Favorable Attainment. [...]
[...] In this sense, the verb (which must have a Patient) is predicated exhaustively on its Patient, until effectively, the whole situation “runs of Patient. is an example of this, such that the effect of adding wán is to indicate that the indicated thieves are all captured by the police. Another, perhaps more familiar example: wèishēngzhǐ yòngwán le. toilet paper has been used It would be somewhat outlandish to posit a continuous “toilet paper use situation” that has cognitive salience and comes to completion at the end of each roll. [...]
[...] Category structures It is important to note that these clusters of senses are a good example of what Lakoff meant by “motivated convention” (1987: 107). Although (hopefully) we may take any one example of either of the complements I have discussed here and explain why the usage in that example is motivated by the category structure I have proposed, it is not the case that the categories generatively determine the acceptability of usages (if they did, given categories as broad as these, it would be hard to find verbs that were not acceptable with either one). [...]
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