Workshop Description

Resultative expressions present an intriguing landscape for exploration in the realm of form-meaning correspondence. From the presence of a result-denoting predicate with another predicate typically describing how that result arises, to the associated structural and argument realization patterns, and the nature of the result predicate, resultatives have opened many fruitful avenues for research on verb meaning and the syntax- semantics interface.

Across languages, resultatives have been studied not only for their structural properties (Hoekstra 1988 (English, Dutch), Carrier and Randall 1992 (English), Shim and den Dikken 2007, Son 2008 (Korean)), Williams 2008 (various languages), Loos 2017 (signed languages)), but also for what they reveal about the representation and typology of verb meaning (Washio 1997, Thepkanjana and Uehara 2009, Acedo- Matellán 2016), the nature of predication (Rothstein 1983, 2004), and the syntax-semantics interface, most notably unaccusativity (Levin and Rappaport Hovav 1995), event structure (Rappaport Hovav and Levin 2001), scalar structure (Wechsler 2005), and more recently the nature of direct causation (Levin 2020).

Resultatives in particular bear a special status in the grammar of Mandarin Chinese, where they are ubiquitous, and occur in both compound and phrasal form (Huang 1988, Cheng and Huang 1994). Mandarin resultative compounds exhibit both characteristics that reflect what is observed in other languages, and others that seem to go against expectation, including unselected arguments (Williams 2015), so-called “inverse” causative readings (Cheng and Huang 1994, Li 1995), and the subject-oriented result interpretations (Li 1999) that cast doubt on the universality of the direct object restriction (Simpson 1983), also at issue in other languages (Rappaport Hovav and Levin 2001, Shim and den Dikken 2007, Son 2008). Resultatives in Mandarin continue to draw investigation, with recent forays into their syntactic analysis (Liu 2019), and the application (Han 2021) of a force-theoretic approach (Copley and Harley 2015).

This workshop hopes to bring together different strands of recent research to build a picture of how our understanding of resultatives has changed over the years: what factors have been reinforced, what adjusted, and what reinterpreted or discarded. As this is a workshop organized under the auspices of the National University of Singapore Department of Chinese Studies, part of the workshop will be devoted to resultatives in Mandarin and other Chinese languages/dialects.

Selected References

Acedo-Matellán, Victor. 2016. The morphosyntax of transitions: a case study in Latin and other languages. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Cheng, Lisa L.-S. and C.T. James Huang. 1994. On the argument structure of resultative compounds. In M. Chen and O. Tzeng, eds., In Honor of William Wang: Interdisciplinary Studies on Language and Language Change, pages 187–221. Taipei: Pyramid Press.

Hoekstra, Teun. 1988. Small clause results. Lingua 74:101–139.

Levin, Beth. 2020. Resultatives and constraints on concealed causatives. In S. E. Bar-Asher and N. Boneh, eds., Perspectives on causation, Jerusalem Studies in Philosophy and History of Science, pages 185–217. Cham: Springer.

Levin, Beth and Malka Rappaport Hovav. 1995. Unaccusativity: At the Syntax-Lexical Semantics Interface. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Li, Yafei. 1995. The thematic hierarchy and causativity. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 13:255–282.

Li, Yafei. 1999. Cross-componential causativity. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 17:445–497.

Rappaport Hovav, Malka and Beth Levin. 2001. An event structure account of English resultatives. Language 77:766– 797.

Rothstein, Susan. 2004. Structuring Events: A Study in the Semantics of Lexical Aspect. Oxford: Blackwell.

Thepkanjana, Kingkarn and Satoshi Uehara. 2009. Resultatives with “implied-result” and “entailed-result” verbs in Thai and English: a contrastive study. Linguistics 47(3):589–618.

Washio, Ryuichi. 1997. Resultatives, compositionality, and language variation. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 6:1–49.

Wechsler, Stephen. 2005. Resultatives under the ‘event-argument homomorphism’ model of telicity. In N. Erteschik-Shir and T. Rapoport, eds., The Syntax of Aspect, pages 255–273. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Williams, Alexander. 2015. Arguments in Syntax and Semantics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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