Severing telicity from result
This paper investigates the peculiar behaviors of resultative compound verbs in Dongying Mandarin, a previously unstudied Mandarin Chinese variety. Data from multiple syntactic contexts (e.g. completive, negation, future/irrealis, potential) show that resultative complements in this variety fall in two contrasting categories: atelic and telic. Atelic resultatives have full lexical tones and require a grammati- calized telic marker (liu) in various [+TELIC] contexts, whereas telic resultatives assume the neutral tone and prohibit liu in the same contexts. The theoretical dis- cussion begins with an evaluation of two neo-constructionist approaches, featuring event decomposition and Inner Aspect, and ends with a middle-way model combin- ing and adapting the two. The main proposal is that in Dongying Mandarin, telicity is not encoded in the resultative complement itself, but in a Low Inner Aspect position between the action and the result verbs, which turns the state denoted by the resultative complement into a telos of the complex event. I derive the surface compound verb via the Defective Goal theory (Roberts 2010) and analyze the tonal variation as Root allomorphy.