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Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai

Abstract

As far as the left periphery is concerned, there is a conspiracy between syntax, semantics, and pragmatics to ensure the success of sentence formation. We would like to put forth the claim that peripheral features play an important role in this endeavor, which can be checked by either Merge or Move according to the parameter-settings of individual languages. Along this line, topic prominence can be regarded as the result of peripheral feature checking, and the null topic hypothesis à la Huang (1984) is reinvented as a null operator merger to fulfill interface economy in the left periphery. In this regard, Chinese provides substantial evidence from obligatory topicalization in outer affectives, evaluatives, and refutory wh-constructions, which applies only when the licensing from a D(efiniteness)-operator is blocked. The idea also extends naturally to the issues concerning pro-drop and bare nominals in general. In this light, we may well compare Chinese obligatory topicalization to those residual cases of verb-second (V2) in English, all being manifestation of the strong uniformity.

Open access

Wei-Wen Roger Liao

Abstract

In view of Kayne’s (2014) analysis, the English expressions of once, twice, and #-times are compared with the corresponding Chinese expression, #-ci. This paper shows that data from Chinese not only support Kayne’s analysis that treats the silent TIME as classifier, but they also suggest that the frequentative phrase may involve a silent NP and/or PP. The latter provides some possible modifications to Kayne’s original analysis of the suffix -ce.

Open access

Kayne Richard S.

Abstract

The study of English once and twice yields evidence that each of them is actually a complex phrase containing two visible morphemes and one silent one. Neither is a simple lexical item. The -ce morpheme is akin to a postposition, despite English being primarily prepositional. The silent element associated with once and twice is a silent counterpart of time, represented as TIME. This instance of TIME is singular, even in the case of twice. There appears to be a link between TIME and the syntax of classifiers.

The presence of silent TIME with once and twice indirectly provides evidence for the presence in the human language faculty of other antecedentless silent nominal elements such as NUMBER. Silent elements of this sort are not visible (even via an antecedent) in the primary data available to the learner. Their properties, for example, their singularity or plurality and their licensing conditions, therefore provide us with a privileged window onto the invariant core of the language faculty itself.

The presence of silent elements such as TIME and NUMBER can, in part, be traced back to a principle of decompositionality, to the effect that the human language faculty imposes a maximum of one interpretable syntactic feature per lexical item.

Open access

Pei-Jung Kuo

Abstract

In this paper, I explore the components of the sideward movement involved in the verb copying construction proposed by Cheng (2007). I first present some facts of the resultative de-clause of the verb copying construction which seems to be puzzling under Cheng’s analysis. An extended analysis is then proposed. Under the extended analysis, I propose that the sideward movement mechanism involved in the resultative de-clause can be further analyzed as internal topicalization plus differential object marking. This analysis of sideward movement is also attested in the manner de-clause of the verb copying construction. The proposed components relate the sideward movement in the verb copying construction to the syntactic mechanisms which are also observed widely in Mandarin Chinese and other languages.