Scalarity and state changes in Mandarin (and other languages)
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One of the goals of lexical semantics is to delineate the space of possiblemeanings, how it varies across language, and to compare that space with what we know of conceptual space. Vendler (1967), Dowty (1979), Carter (1976), Bach (1986), Talmy (2000), among others, have argued that the space of verb meanings can be divided into four quadrants. Verbs can describe states, processes, changes of state, or causal events. Individual verb meanings, then, differ in the constraints they impose on the base predicates (states and processes) and their arguments. Indidivudal verbs can, of course, be quite idiosyncratic in the constraints they impose on (induced) states and participants.