Aspect under (and out of) control in Mandarin Chinese

Thomas Grano


This paper proposes a restructuring analysis of the phenomenon of aspect marking in controlled complements in Mandarin (e.g., wo qing ta [chi-guo fan] ‘I invite him [eat-PRF food]’). This approach explains why only suffixal aspect markers participate in the construction, and explains the effect noted by Xu (1985-1986) and Hu et al. (2001) that such constructions sometimes entail realization of the subordinate event. It furthermore supports the view that aspect markers in controlled complements are (when grammatical at all) interpreted at the matrix level (Huang 1982, 1989; Li 1985, 1990), and hence the view that Mandarin has a finite/nonfinite distinction.

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