THE SYNTAX AND SEMANTICS OF CHINESE IMPERSONAL V-¬QILAI CONSTRUCTION
Chyan-an Arthur Wang, Hsiao-hung Iris Wu
This paper investigates the Chinese impersonal V-qilai construction. Drawing on the results of a number of syntactic tests and semantic conditions, we propose an analysis in which the post-V-qilai modification element is the main predicate and the V-qilai complex constitutes a frame-setting clausal modifier. This view is supported by arguments regarding obligatory modification, the distributional facts of preverbal markers, and the behavior of frequency adverbs. Moreover, we suggest that, within the clausal adjunct, qilai selects and incorporates with verbs in their stative version, which gives rise to the absence of agentivity and to the verbal restrictions noted in the impersonal V-qilai sentences.
Key words: V-qilai construction, impersonal, frame-setting modifiers, Chinese