Causation in Classical Chinese During the Warring States Period and in the Han Dynasty




Classical Chinese, the Warring states period, the Han dynasty, causation, (c)overt causative verbs, prosodic approach


In this paper, I explore causation in Classical Chinese during the Warring States period and in the Han Dynasty. Whether causation is realised via causative use of words with covert causative verbs, or via overt causative verbs, causation structures can always be divided into Agentive and Causative constructions, which can be further categorised into lexical causatives and productive causatives. I also account for causation in Classical Chinese by means of Feng’s (1998, 2000, 2009) prosodic approach and show that both strategies to form causation structures are compatible with a prosodic theory. I discuss both VO and VV causation and state that Agentive and Causative constructions involving covert causative (light) verbs are prosodic words, whereas those involving overt causative verbs exhibit properties of phrases.


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How to Cite

Wang, A. (2021). Causation in Classical Chinese During the Warring States Period and in the Han Dynasty. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 11(2), 65–97.



Research articles