Direct Perception Expression in Japanese and Chinese

Wenchao Li


This paper tackles the adjective distribution in two different languages, Altaic language: Japanese and Sino-Tibetan language: Chinese. The findings bring us to the point that Japanese direct perception expression tolerates both open-scale and closed-scale adjectives. Chinese direct perception expression only licenses ‘totally open-scale adjectives’ and rule out ‘upper closed-scale adjectives’, ‘totally closed-scale adjectives’, ‘lower closed-scale adjectives’. The failure of Chinese closed-scale AP in direct perception expression lies in that the perception verb jian ‘to see’ is subjective. Open-scale adjectival perception verb complements in German and Chinese may invite temporary predications only by the addition of syntactic context, thus enabling the German/Chinese perception verb sehen, kanjian /jian to make a conceptualisation of the perceived event, offering an ‘evaluation’ or ‘interpretation’.  

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