Syntactic and semantic discrepancies among the verbs for 'kill' in English, Chinese and Thai

Kingkarn Thepkanjana, Satoshi Uehara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper shows that there are some syntactic and semantic discrepancies among three seemingly semantically equivalent verbs denoting one of the most basic actions in any language, i.e. the verbs meaning 'kill' in English, Chinese and Thai. Specifically, it examines the possibility of these verbs to appear in two syntactic patterns in which English is used as the metalanguage: (A) X kill Y dead, and (B) X kill Y but Y not die. The different syntactic properties among these verbs suggest that the verbs for 'kill' in the three languages are not completely semantically equivalent. It is found that the resulting dead event of kill in English is lexically entailed but that of shā in Chinese is merely implied. Thai is a more complicated case. The verbs for 'kill' in the three languages are thus classified into different categories based on their syntactic and semantic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPACLIC 24 - Proceedings of the 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation
Pages291-300
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec 1
Event24th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 24 - Sendai, Japan
Duration: 2010 Nov 42010 Nov 7

Publication series

NamePACLIC 24 - Proceedings of the 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation

Other

Other24th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 24
CountryJapan
CitySendai
Period10/11/410/11/7

Keywords

  • Accomplishment verb
  • Activity verb
  • Entailed-result verb
  • Implied-result verb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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  • Cite this

    Thepkanjana, K., & Uehara, S. (2010). Syntactic and semantic discrepancies among the verbs for 'kill' in English, Chinese and Thai. In PACLIC 24 - Proceedings of the 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation (pp. 291-300). (PACLIC 24 - Proceedings of the 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation).