The Asymmetry of Chinese/English Action-Result Events Encoding: A Cognitive Approach


The present paper attempts to look at Chinese resultative verb compounds form the perspective of cognitive relativism, namely through the contrastive study of Chinese and English verb-resultatives. Based on the comparison, the present thesis tries to explore the underlying conceptual approaches to structuring events consisting of both action and result by Chinese native speakers and English native speakers and show the discrepancies between them in cognition or more specifically, conceptualization of reality. Resultative verb compounds in Chinese are analyzed in terms of Talmy’s conceptual structure and are shown to present a problem for Talmy’s well-known typological dichotomy between "verb-framed" and "satellite-framed" languages. It is also argued that the so-called "resultative complement" in Chinese resultative verb compounds can be treated as the center of predication, even as the main verb. Pending further psycholinguistic evidence, it appears that Chinese speakers place relatively more emphasis on the result of an event, whereas English speakers more on the process of an event.

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Cao, D. (2013) The Asymmetry of Chinese/English Action-Result Events Encoding: A Cognitive Approach. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 3, 127-134. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2013.32017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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