Semester

Fall

Date of Graduation

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MA

College

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Department

World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

Committee Chair

Sandra Stjepanovic

Committee Member

Jonah Katz

Committee Member

Sergio Robles-Puente

Abstract

This thesis examines the experiential aspectual marker -guo under control in Mandarin. The status of -guo under control has been a subject of controversy, involving two important theoretical questions. The first question concerns whether -guo under control is syntactically associated with the matrix verb or the embedded verb. The second question deals with whether, in terms of interpretive effects, -guo under control triggers actuality entailments. This thesis addresses the latter question through an interpretive judgment test conducted among 260 native Mandarin speakers. In the test, three control verbs (changshi ‘try’, guli ‘encourage’, and zuzhi ‘oppose’) were selected, each of which was combined with three respective aspectual conditions of -guo (no -guo, matrix -guo, and embedded -guo), yielding a total of nine sentence stimuli. Each sentence stimulus, accompanied by one of two contextual actualization conditions, was rated on a Likert Scale of 1-5. The corresponding ratings demonstrated how well each stimulus fit in the given contextual actualization condition. All elicited ratings were z-transformed by participant and analyzed with a mixed-effects regression model. The results show that there is no positive evidence that -guo under control triggers actuality entailments. Furthermore, these also suggest that interpretive effects may not be efficacious evidence for the existing debate about Mandarin control and non-control constructions in the literature.

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