Syntactic Sources of Adjectives in Mandarin Chinese

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Abstract

Cinque (2010, 2014) shows that in English and Italian, adjectives have two syntactic sources, each with different interpretive properties; one source corresponding to predicative adjectives; the other to non-predicative adjectives. This study examines adjectives in Mandarin Chinese with the goal of finding out whether Chinese displays the same pattern. The data shows that Chinese behaves similarly to English and Italian; adjectives that are derived from relative clauses are semantically different from those that directly modify nouns. In addition, Chinese displays the correspondence that predicative adjectives are derived from reduced RC, while nonpredicative adjectives participate in direct modification. However, this parallelism is only possible if we modify the line drawn between “predicative” and “nonpredicative” assumed by Chinese grammarians.

提要

Cinque (2010, 2014) 認為作定語的形容詞有兩個句法來源,並為英語和義大利語提 供證據指出不同來源之形容詞帶有不同的語義,句法來源的不同最終歸究於形容詞 是否用作謂語。本文探討漢語形容詞的句法來源,證據顯示漢語形容詞同樣有兩個 來源:直接修飾以及關係小句,前者與後者顯現不同語義。形容詞是否用作謂語在 漢語也發揮同樣作用,對形容詞的句法來源有決定性因素。但漢語和英語,義大利 語的相似之處只有在以下情況才能呈現出來:漢語“謂語性形容詞”與“非謂語性 形容詞”的區分必須重新規劃,所有不加“的”的形名詞組中的形容詞皆應納入非 謂語性形容詞中。

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