In Chinese VO (verb-object) phrases, 2+1 (disyllabic + monosyllabic) is ill formed when other length patterns are available, such as 2+1 *种植蒜 zhongzhi suan vs. the well-formed 2+2种植大蒜 zhongzhi dasuan ‘plant garlic’. However, 2+1 VO is acceptable when alternative length patterns are unavailable, such as 节约水 jieyue shui ‘save water’ and 喜欢钱 xihuan qian ‘love money’. The conditional acceptance of 2+1 VO is known as the ‘last resort’ effect. However, the predicted judgment difference has not been demonstrated experimentally. In addition, it is unclear whether native speakers find the last resort 2+1 to be as good as 2+2. Moreover, it is unclear what other factors may affect native judgment. To address the questions, we conducted a judgment experiment. Our study shows that (i) 2+2 VO is ranked the best, (ii) 2+1 is ranked the worst when a better form is available, and (iii) the last resort 2+1 is ranked between (i) and (ii). The result (iii) indicates a persistent effect of prosody, even for the last resort 2+1. In addition, we found a collocation effect between V and O. Moreover, we found considerable variation among the subjects, in that some subjects consistently gave higher scores than others, and for some expressions, there is a high degree of disagreement among subjects, which suggests that personal perspectives may play a role.
汉语动宾短语(VO)的词长搭配中，2+1（双音节＋单音节）的搭配通常不好，例如2+1 *“种植蒜”不如 2+2 “种植大蒜”好。但是如果没有其他搭配可选，2+1也可以接受，例如“节约水”、“喜欢钱”等。这种现象叫做“唯一选择”效果。不过，有的问题仍然有待探讨。比如，以上所说的两种接受度，能否通过实验加以证明？“唯一选择”的2＋1的接受度，是否跟2＋2的一样好? 除了词长的搭配以外，是否还有其他因素影响语句的接受度？针对这些问题，我们进行了VO的接受度实验。结果显示（i）2＋2 VO的接受度最高；（ii）当有其他它搭配可选时，2＋1 VO的接受度最低；（iii）当无其他它搭配可选时，“唯一选择”的2＋1 VO的接受度在（i）与（ii）之间。结果（iii）表明，韵律对语句的接受度始终存在影响，即使“唯一选择”的2＋1 VO也受其影响。我们还发现，动词与名词之间的搭配关系也有影响。还有，参与者之间也存在差异：（i）有的人打分大大高于平均水平、有的大大低于平均水平，（ii）有少数结构得分差异很大，有的人给的是满分、而有的人给的确是最低分，说明个人观点也可能影响对语句的判断。
Word-length preference Prosody Acceptability experiment Elastic words Last resort