Semantics-oriented resultatives: Evidence from valency alternation verbs
Resultative phrases are generally believed to conform to the Direct Object Restriction: that is, they describe the direct object if verbs are transitive. However, some exceptions have occasionally been reported, and this paper investigates the problem by focusing on resultative phrases that occur with the valency alternation verbs in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Verbs that license the locative alternation and locatum-subject alternation describe events that involve two arguments, the location and the locatum, which are perceived to concurrently undergo a change of state. It will be shown that resultative phrases with a valency alternation verb can be predicated of either argument regardless of whether it is expressed as direct object. Furthermore, resultative verbal suffixes in Mandarin, interpreted as description of either the location or the locatum, give rise to the locative alternation while their interpretation remains the same. Thus, it is claimed that in Japanese and Mandarin, the predication relation of resultative phrases is not determined by the grammatical function of arguments as generally believed, but rather by the lexical semantics of the verbs.