Categories of Causative Verbs: a Corpus Study of Mandarin Chinese
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This thesis examines the categories of causative verbs in Mandarin Chinese, including two corpus studies. Previous research has shown a tight relationship between the concept of CAUSE as it is described in the psychological model of causation, the force dynamic model and the meaning of causative verbs across languages (Wolff, Song & Driscoll, 2002; Wolff, 2003; Wolff & Song, 2003; Wolff, Klettke, Ventura & Song, 2005). In the first study I investigate whether this model can characterize the meanings of causative verbs in Mandarin Chinese. The results show that the categories of Chinese causative verbs partially present the pattern that the force dynamic model predicts; in particular, the distinction between the notion of CAUSE and ENABLE is not clear in Mandarin Chinese. In the second corpus study, I further explore whether the categories of Chinese causative verbs can be approached by theory of direct/indirect causation (Verhagen & Kemmer, 1997). The corpus results show that direct/indirect causation provides a better account for those verbs to which the force dynamic model fails to apply. Thus, I conclude that the whole picture of Chinese causative verbs is more complex than either of the two theories presents, and future work needs to be done for a systematic description of the causative verbs in Mandarin Chinese.