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Title: The headedness of Mandarin Chinese serial verb constructions: A corpus-based study
Authors: Lin, J
Huang, CR 
Zhang, H
Xu, H
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Proceedings of the 26th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2012, 2012, p. 428-435 How to cite?
Abstract: Existing treebanks of Mandarin Chinese such as the Sinica Treebank, the Harbin Institute of Technology Treebank, and the Penn Chinese Treebank, parse Chinese serial verb constructions incorrectly or inconsistently in terms of headedness, i.e. which verb to be assigned with the label of syntactic and/or semantic "head". Aspectual markers in serial verb constructions can help determine the head of these constructions (Li, 1991; among others). However, the majority of Chinese serial verb constructions do not have overt aspectual markers. Based on large-scale corpus studies, this work investigates the distribution of aspectual markers in Chinese serial verb constructions in order to explore which verb in the serial verbs is more likely to function as the head, and thus provides a reference for parsing serial verb constructions without overt aspectual markers. We find that contrary to previous studies such as Collins (1997), Law and Veenstra (1992) and Sebba (1987) that treat the first verb in a serial verb construction as the head, Chinese serial verb constructions more often have the second verb as the head. The results of this work can not only serve as a reference for automatic parsing of Chinese data, but also shed light on theoretical studies of the structure of serial verb constructions in Chinese and other serial verb languages.
Description: 26th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2012, Bali, 7 November 2012
ISBN: 9789791421171
Appears in Collections:Conference Paper

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