The Light Verb Lai in the Chinese Comparative Correlative

Chen-Sheng Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Chinese yue lai yue 'more come more' construction is a subtype of the Chinese comparative correlative rather than an analogue of the English more and more (or -er and -er) construction. The verb lai 'come' inside is the overt realization of the light verb BECOME, which selects as complement a state. Through an internet search of large Chinese corpora, we further argue that the yue lai yue 'more come more' sequence is on the way to being lexicalized as a degree adverb with some properties that provide indirect evidence for the light verb analysis made here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-99
Number of pages31
JournalLanguage and Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Comparative correlative
  • Light verb
  • Yue lai yue


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