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Zhaole Yang

Abstract

This paper examines the use of Mandarin ‘also’ in contexts which dōu can be used as well, e.g., in no matter and even contexts. I argue that there is a correlation between the possibility of using and the presence of a scalar reading as well as a reference to an extremity on the scale in question. The data we present show that is invariably associated with scalar readings: is always used in scalar contexts, and contexts that are not obviously scalar become so when is used. I also argue that a scalar interpretation of wh-elements in no matter contexts can be derived with the aid of negation or modals, thus accounting for the felicitousness of in such contexts. The paper ends with a short note on lián, hypothesizing that its function is to introduce the extreme of the scale. I also argue that the licensing condition of the additive/basic , i.e., the presence of alternatives in the background, also plays a role in the scalar use of .

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Victor Junnan Pan

Abstract

Erlewine (2017) suggests that certain sentence-final particles (SFPs) in Mandarin Chinese such as “sentential le” and eryi are located lower than the C-domain, using a number of arguments relating to the scopal interaction of these SFPs, subjects, and other verb phrase (vP) level elements. The present paper proposes an alternative view of the phenomena considered by Erlewine (2017) and maintains the claim that sentential le and eryi are C-domain elements. First, I argue that shi ‘be’, in the negative form – bu shi ‘not be’ – should be analyzed as an independent verb, which takes a clausal complement headed by le or eryi. The apparent narrow scope of le and eryi is due to the biclausal analysis of the entire sentence. Second, the sentence-initial determiner phrase (DP) cannot be analyzed as the real subject of the verb shi ‘be’ but must be analyzed as the matrix topic of the entire sentence and, therefore, is higher than the complementizer phrase (CP) headed by le or eryi. This explains why sometimes le or eryi does not have scope over the subject. Third, the wh-subject cannot get an indefinite reading in a sentence with a final particle le because the ∃-closure triggered by le applies at the I′-level by excluding the subject systematically (Huang 1982). The ∃-quantifier, which is introduced in a position lower than the surface subject position, cannot bind the wh-subject as a variable. The position where ∃ is generated remains independent of whether the ∃-closure is triggered by low particles, such as le, or by high particles, such as the yes–no question particle ma. Therefore, the low peripheral particles le and eryi are still within the CP domain and thus higher than vP.

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Yangyu Sun

Abstract

This paper analyzes the syntactic properties of the “ba-construction” or “disposal form” in Mandarin Chinese under new theoretical frameworks. By introducing the event-decomposition method proposed by Ramchand (2008), it argues that the ba-construction conveys the causativity and the resultativity of the event at the same time, which can be shown from the syntactic representation. Then, this paper tests the position of ba, assuming that it is a functional head, and the result of the test indicates that ba is a voice head in the hierarchy of functional projections proposed by Cinque (1999, 2006). The final word order of a ba-construction can be derived by the argument movement of the direct object and by a head movement of ba or by the merge of ba at the head position of the higher functional head of a split VoiceP.

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Hsiu-Ying Liu and Zhen-Tong Hsieh

Abstract

In modern Chinese, a new degree adverb shén 神 is emerging. Expressions such as shénhăochī 神好吃 and shényǒuqù 神有趣 are found in colloquial Chinese, and they even appear as headlines to get readers’ attention. Shén originally refers to the dominator and creator of the universe. In modern Chinese, along with the original meaning, people frequently use shén to modify things (e.g., shén jīyīn 神基因) or actions (e.g., shén huí 神回). How many senses does shén have? How did shén derive the use of degree adverb? The paper targets on shén in modern Chinese, aiming to study its senses, to work out the relations among the various usages, and to find out how it generated the use of degree adverb. The conclusion shows that the senses of shén were derived from its original meaning either directly or indirectly through reanalysis, inference, metaphorization, and metonymization. The use of degree adverb was generated through metaphorization and reanalysis.

Open access

Chih-hsiang Shu

Abstract

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.

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Richard K. Larson

Abstract

Mandarin manner adverbs like dasheng ‘loudly’ (lit. ‘big voice’) occur both sentence-medially and sentence-finally, whereas adverbs formed with the adverbializer de (地) like kuaikuaide ‘quickly’ occur only sentence-medially. The behavior of AP-地 adverbs is puzzling under a classical adjunction analysis and under Cinque’s (1999) hierarchy of functional projections. Here, I argue that Mandarin manner adverbs have a uniform low attachment in V complement position and that preverbal/medial position reflects obligatory movement imposed by the status of 地 as a “concordializing element”.

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Yen-Hui Audrey Li and Ting-Chi Wei

Abstract

Taking “sluicing” to be derived by movement + deletion, as represented by Merchant (2001), and “pseudo-sluicing” to be a base-generated structure [pro (+be) + wh] (going by Wei 2004; Adams 2004), this paper reviews arguments for and against the presence of a sluicing construction in Mandarin Chinese. We show that all the tests available in the literature do not argue against the presence of such a sluicing construction, except the test building on the distribution of the copula shi. Unfortunately, the shi test is demonstrated to be uncertain and it cannot be used to argue conclusively that only a base-generation pseudo-sluicing analysis should be adopted. We show that a much clear evidence for an exclusive pseudo-sluicing analysis comes from the behavior of the sprouting construction. Investigation of sprouting also sheds light on the properties of null arguments, topic-variable relation, locality, and subcategorization of verbs in the language.

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Wei-wen Roger Liao

Abstract

The paper discusses the universality of the final-over-final condition (FOFC). It has been proposed that sentence-final particles (SFPs) in Chinese may invalidate the universality of FOFC. This paper argues that the challenge from SFPs is inconclusive since the evidence for the head status of SFPs is lacking. On the other hand, the leftward complement of N0 in Chinese (Huang 2016) poses a greater threat to FOFC. However, it is argued that the violation is caused by a language-particular word order constraint due to Case directionality (Li 1990). Relating the syntactic FOFC violation to the word order constraint in compounds, it is proposed that FOFC may be understood as an instance of the shape conservation principle (Williams 2003), where the language-particular constraint is satisfied at the expense of a minimal violation of the universal condition.

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Ronald Fong

Abstract

This article proposes an analysis of the Motion-Directional Construction in Chinese in the Conceptual-Cognitive approach as outlined by Jackendoff and Langacker. This article first argues that the Motion-Directional Construction consists of conceptual subordination, expressing different mental spaces. Then, it examines the syntactic and semantic behaviors of the construction arguing that it is more like a constructional idiom. In particular, we discuss the case of pa ‘climb’ and generalize further that the motion verbs in Chinese typically express manners of movement. Within the Conceptual Semantics, we argue that a level of grammatical relation may not be necessary; it is the argument and conceptual structures that we need in the cognitive structure. Finally, we present the data and suggest the typological relevance of the Motion-Directional Construction.

Open access

Ting-Chi Wei

Abstract

This paper argues that you ‘have’ sluice is a variant of pseudosluicing, akin to shi ‘be’ sluice in Chinese. You sluice can be analyzed as a base-generated structure [pro you ‘have’ wh-phrase], consisting of a subject pro, a verb you ‘have’, and a wh-phrase, having nothing to do with movement and deletion. In this simple clause, the pro can either refer to a nominal antecedent or an event antecedent; you ‘have’ mainly denotes possessive or existential readings as well as extended attributive uses. This analysis further reveals how circum-phrase chule … yiwei ‘besides’ semantically and syntactically interacts with hai ‘still’ in you sluice to express else modification in English sluicing derived by movement and deletion.