Aspectual coercion and the aspectual marker –zhe in Mandarin Chinese
I-hao Woo

In this studyI discussesthe aspectual and morpho-syntactic properties of the imperfective marker –zhe in Mandarin Chinese. I demonstrate that thismarkeris a verbal suffix that expressesthe non-progressive aspect. Like other types of aspects, the non-progressive –zhe also contains aspectual restrictions; it is naturally compatible withonly dynamicstative verbs such as the verb zuo‘to sit’, and is used to signal continuation of this type of eventuality. However, when –zheis combined with an eventuality other than a dynamic State, aspectual coercion must occur. Accordingly, I argue that theintensifying reading of a sentence containing a static State and the marker –zhe (e.g., Zhegefiangjianhei-zhe ne; ‘this room is pretty dark’) is due to aspectual coercion. In addition, I also argue that aspectual coercion is demonstrated by morpho-syntactic items in Chinese. I demonstrate that when an Activity or a static State is modified by–zhe, linguistic items such as the sentence final particle (SFP)ne,must be added. This argument suggests that aspectual coercion can be observed in the syntax as well.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijlc.v3n2a12