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Open Access Verb-Object Relationships and Transitivity in Pre-Qin Chinese

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Verb-Object Relationships and Transitivity in Pre-Qin Chinese

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This paper examines the behavior of 16 transitive verbs, belonging to four different categories, in ten pre-Qin texts. The study reveals that in cases where no object is present, this is not arbitrary. Rather, there are clear restrictions on the non-occurrence of objects, which can be correlated with eight distinct situations. These can be accounted for in terms of the ten parameters proposed by Paul J. Hopper and Sandra A. Thompson in "Transitivity in grammar and discourse" (1980). In addition, the paper discusses the behavior of transitive verbs in the Dunhuang bianwen and concludes that the situation we observe in these later writings is rather different from what we find in the pre-Qin language.


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