Parameter Preservation at the Syntax-PF Interface: The Ba Construction Revisited

Open access


In this paper, I argue for an analysis that treats the ba construction in Chinese as a case of shape preservation-induced movement structure. Specifically, the robust preverbal adverbial and PP expressions and the mandatory ba-DP movement in ditransitive structures are both derived from a violable head directionality macroparameter under the Symmetrical Syntax Hypothesis, which allows directionality parameters to examine word order throughout the derivation. In addition to being able to capture the parallel syntactic properties of Scandinavian object shift, this account receives further empirical support from word order facts of Archaic Chinese and Bambara.

Aldridge, Edith. 2012. PPs and applicatives in late Archaic Chinese. Studies in Chinese Linguistics 33(3). 139-164.

Alexiadou, Artemis. 2014. Active, middle, and passive: The morpho-syntax of voice. Catalan Journal of Linguistics 13. 19-40.

Baker, Mark. 2008. The macroparameter in a microparametric world. In Theresa Biberauer (ed.), The limits of syntactic variation, 351-374. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Benett, Paul A. 1981. The evolution of passive and disposal sentences. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 9(1). 61-90.

Biberauer, Teresa, Anders Holmberg & Ian Roberts. 2007. Disharmonic word-order systems and the final-over-final-constraint (FOFC). In Antonietta Bisetto & Francesco E. Barbieri (eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Incontro di Grammatica Generativa, 86-105. Bologna: Università di Bologna.

Biberauer, Theresa, Anders Holmberg & Ian Roberts. 2014. A syntactic universal and its consequences. Linguistic Inquiry 45(2). 169-225.

Biberauer, Theresa & Michelle Sheehan. 2012. Disharmony, antisymmetry, and the final-over-final constraint. In Myriam Uribe-Etxebarria & Vidal Valmala (eds.), Ways of structure building, 206-244. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Borer, Hagit. 1984. Parametric syntax. Dordrecht: Foris.

Chao, Yuen-ren. 1968. A grammar of spoken Chinese. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Cheng, Lisa L.-S. 2007. Verb copying in Mandarin Chinese. In Norbert Corver & Jairo Nunes (eds.), The copy theory of movement, 151-174. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Chomsky, Noam. 1986. Knowledge of language: Its nature, origin, and use. New York: Praeger.

Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chomsky, Noam. 2000. Minimalist inquiries: The framework. In Roger Martin, David Michaels & Juan Uriagereka (eds.), Step by step: Essays on minimalist syntax in honor of Howard Lasnik, 89-155. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chomsky, Noam. 2001. Derivation by phase. In Michael Kenstowicz (ed.), Ken Hale: A life in language, 1-52. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Creissels, Denis. 2005. SVOX constituent order and constituent order alternations in West African languages. In Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistic Society, 1-15, Berkeley.

Djamouri, Redouane, Waltraud Paul & John Whitman. 2013. Syntactic change in Chinese and the argument-adjunct asymmetry. In Guangshun Cao, Hilary Chappell, Redouane Djamouri & Thekla Wiebusch (eds.), Breaking down the barriers: Interdisciplinary studies in Chinese linguistics and beyond, vol. 2, 577-594. Taipei: Academia Sinica.

Epstein, Samuel David, Erich Groat, Ruriko Kawashima & Hisatsugu Kitahara. 1998. A derivational approach to syntactic relations. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ernst, Thomas. 2002. The syntax of adjuncts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Feng, Shengli. 2000. Hanyu yunlü jufa xue [Prosodic syntax in Chinese]. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiaoyu Chubanshe [Shanghai education press].

Fox, Danny. 1995. Economy and scope. Natural Language Semantics 3(3). 283-341.

Fox, Danny. 2000. Economy and semantic interpretation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Fox, Danny & David Pesetsky. 2005. Cyclic linearization of syntactic structure. Theoretical Linguistics 31. 1-45.

Geuder, Wilhelm. 2004. Depictives and transparent adverbs. In Jennifer R. Austin, Stefan Engelberg & Gisa Rauh (eds.), Adverbials: The interplay between meaning, context, and syntactic structure, 131-166. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Haig, Geoffrey. 2001. Linguistic diffusion in present-day East Anatolia: From top to bottom. In Alexandra Aikhenvald & Robert Dixon (eds.), Areal diffusion and genetic inheritance: Problems in comparative linguistics, 192-224. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Huang, C.-T. James. 1982. Logical relations in Chinese and the theory of grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT dissertation.

Huang, C.-T. James. 1984. Phrase structure, lexical integrity, and Chinese compounds. Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association 19. 53-78.

Huang, C.-T. James. 1992. Complex predicates in control. In Richard K. Larson, Sabine Iatridou, Utpal Lahiri & James Higginbotham (eds.), Control and grammar, 109-147. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Huang, C.-T. James. 1994. More on Chinese word order and parametric theory. In Barbara Lust, Margarita Suñer & John Whitman (eds.), Syntactic theory and language acquisition: Crosslinguistic perspectives, vol. 1, Heads, projections, and learnability,15-35. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Huang, C.-T. James. 2006a. Resultatives and unaccusatives: A parametric view. Bulletin of the Chinese Linguistic Society of Japan 253. 1-43.

Huang, C.-T. James. 2006b. The macro-history of Chinese syntax and the theory of change. Paper presented at the Chinese Linguistics Workshop, University of Chicago.

Huang, C.-T. James. 2015. On syntactic analyticity and parametric theory. In Audrey Li, Andrew Simpson & Wei-tien Dylan Tsai (eds.), Chinese syntax in a crosslinguistic perspective, 1-48. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Huang, C.-T. James, Y.-H. Audrey Li & Yafei Li. 2009. The syntax of Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Huang, C.-T. James & Ian Roberts. 2017. Principles and parameters of Universal Grammar. In Ian Roberts (ed.), Oxford handbook of universal grammar, 307-354. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jackendoff, Ray. 1972. Semantic interpretation in generative grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kayne, Richard. 1994. The antisymmetry of syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kayne, Richard. 2004. Antisymmetry and Japanese. In Lyle Jenkins (ed.), Variation and universals in biolinguistics, 3-37. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Koopman, Hilda. 1984. The syntax of verbs. Dordrecht: Foris.

Koopman, Hilda. 1992. On the absence of case chains in Bambara. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 10(4). 555-594.

Kratzer, Angelika. 1996. Serving the external argument from its verb. In Johan Rooryck & Laurie Zaring (eds.), Phrase structure and the lexicon, 109-137. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Kuo, Pei-jung. 2010. Transitivity and the ba construction. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics 8(1). 95-128.

Larson, Richard. 1988. On the double object construction. Linguistic Inquiry 19(3). 335-391.

Lee, Hui-chi. 2008. Obligatory object shift in Taiwanese Southern Min. In Shin-mei Kao & Shelley Ching-yu Hsieh (eds.), NCKU FLLD Monograph series vol. 1: Languages across cultures, 151-170. Tainan: National Cheng Kung University.

Li, Y.-H. Audrey. 1985. Abstract case in Chinese. Los Angeles, CA: USC dissertation.

Li, Y.-H. Audrey. 1987. Duration phrases: Distributions and interpretation. Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association 22(3). 27-65.

Li, Y.-H. Audrey. 1990. Order and constituency in Mandarin Chinese. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Li, Y.-H. Audrey. 2006. Chinese ba. In Martin Everaert & Henk van Riemsdijk (eds.), The Blackwell companion to syntax, vol. I, 375-468. Oxford: Blackwell.

Liao, Wei-wen. 2017. Remarks on the final-over-final condition: A view from Chinese head-final structures. Studies in Chinese Linguistics 38(2). 93-118.

Lin, T.-H. Jonah. 2001. Light verb syntax and the theory of phrase structure. Irvine, CA: UC Irvine dissertation.

Lü, Shu-xiang. 1980. Xiandai hanyu babaici [Eight hundred words in Modern Mandarin]. Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan [The commercial press].

Matsuoka, Mikinari. 2013. On the notion of subject for subject-oriented adverbs. Language 89(3). 586-618.

Matthews, Stephen & Virginia Yip. 1994. Cantonese: A comprehensive grammar. Oxon: Routledge.

Mei, Tsu-lin. 1990. Tang, Song chuzhishi de laiyuan [The origin of the Tang and Song disposal construction]. Zhongguo Yuwen [Studies of the Chinese language] 216. 191-206.

Mulder, René & Rint Sybesma. 1992. Chinese is a VO language. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 10(3). 439-476.

Özsoy, A. Sumru. 2001. On ‘small’ clauses, other bare verbal complements and feature checking in Turkish. In Eser Erguvanlı Taylan (ed.), The verb in Turkish, 213-237. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Paul, Waltraud. 2015. New perspectives on Chinese syntax. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Peyraube, Alain. 1996. Recent issues in Chinese historical syntax. In C.-T. James Huang & Y.-H. Audrey Li (eds.), New horizons in Chinese linguistics, 161-214. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Reinhart Tanya. 1997. Wh-in-situ in the framework of the Minimalist Program. Natural Language Semantics 6(1). 29-56.

Richards, Marc. 2004. Object shift and scrambling in North and West Germanic: A case study in symmetrical syntax. Cambridge: University of Cambridge dissertation.

Richards, Marc. 2007. Dynamic linearization and the shape of phases. Linguistic Analysis 33. 209-237.

Richards, Marc. 2008. Desymmetrization: Parametric variation at the PF-interface. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 53. 275-300.

Roberts, Ian. 2014. Syntactic change. In Andrew Carnie, Dan Siddiqi & Yosuke Sato (eds.), The Routledge handbook of syntax, 391-408. Abingdon: Routledge.

Saito, Mamoru & Naoki Fukui. 1998. Order in phrase structure and movement. Linguistic Inquiry 29(3). 439-474.

Sheehan, Michelle. 2013. Some implications of a copy theory of labeling. Syntax 16(4). 362-396.

Sybesma, Rint. 1992. Causatives and accomplishments: The case of the Chinese ba. Leiden: Leiden University dissertation.

Sybesma, Rint. 1999. The Mandarin VP. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Tang, C.-C. Jane. 1990. Chinese phrase structure and the extended X’-theory. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University dissertation.

Tang, Sze-Wing. 2001. A complementation approach to Chinese passives and its consequences. Linguistics 39(2). 257-295.

Tang, Sze-Wing. 2015. Yueyu yufa jiangyi [Lectures on Cantonese grammar]. Hong Kong: The Commercial Press.

Teng, Shou-hsin. 1975. Predicate movements in Chinese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 3(1). 60-75.

Travis, Lisa. 1984. Parameters and effects of word order variation. Cambridge, MA: MIT dissertation.

Vikner, Sten. 2006. Object shift. In Martin Everaert & Henk van Riemsdijk (eds.), The Blackwell companion to syntax, vol. III, 392-436. Oxford: Blackwell.

Wei, Pei-chuan. 1993. Gu Hanyu jieci “yu” de yanbian lüeshi [A brief history of the development of the preposition yu in Ancient Chinese]. Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology Academia Sinica 62. 717-786.

Zhang, Cheng. 2002. Hanyu jieci cizu cixu de lishi yanbian [The historical evolution of the word order of prepositional phrases in Chinese]. Beijing: Beijing Yuyan Wenhua Daxue Chubanshe [Beijing Language and Culture University press].

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 2217 2217 54
PDF Downloads 385 385 46