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A Contrastive Study of the Linguistic Encoding of Motion Events in Standard Chinese and in the Guanzhong Dialect of Mandarin (Shaanxi)

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image of Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

In Standard Chinese, locative phrases placed after verbs that express the manner or cause of motion typically express the GOAL of the motion, but also sometimes express the SOURCE, the ROUTE, or the DIRECTION. Here we discuss the linguistic encoding of motion events in the Guanzhong dialect, a non-standard variety of Chinese Mandarin, focusing on that particular issue. We show that the only semantic role that postverbal locative phrases can play in the Guanzhong dialect is that of the GOAL (BOUNDED PATH). This constraint is to be connected with the resultative construction, and indicates a stricter correlation between meaning and form than in Standard Chinese.


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