Revisiting Manner/Result Complementarity: with evidence from Japanese and Chinese verb compounds


  • Wenchao LI



lexicalisation, manner/result complementarity, verb compound, Japanese, Chinese


This paper brings data of verb compounds (V-Vs) from Japanese and Chinese, in an effort to uncover two issues: (a) whether the lexicalisation constraint (i.e. manner/result complementarity) applies to the languages that contain compound verbs; (b) how complex it can be to build compound verb. The finding reveals that manner and result are well encoded in most Japanese verb compounds, which gives rise to the assumption that the complementary constraint is not applicable to Japanese. In Chinese, the application of manner/result complementarity varies according to the types of V-V. In pair relation V-V, only manner meaning is conveyed. In predicate-complement V-V, both manner and result are lexicalised, with V1 encoding the manner and V2 denoting the result. Modifier-predicate V-V appears to only convey the manner. The conclusion emerging from the differing applications in the languages is that the manner/result complementary constraint does not apply to the languages that extensively employ verb compounds.



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How to Cite

LI, W. (2014). Revisiting Manner/Result Complementarity: with evidence from Japanese and Chinese verb compounds. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 4(1), 89–100.



Research articles