This article proposes a pro analysis for split questions (SQs) in Chinese, dissimilar to the biclausal account employing focus movement and deletion in Arregi 2010 and the one employing the silent head in Kayne 2015 and Tang 2015. SQ consists of a wh-clause and a tag clause. We argue that the entire SQ is an information/confirmation-seeking question, represented by a Speech Act Phrase (SAP)-shell structure (Speas and Tenny 2003; Oguro 2017, etc.) with wh-clause in its specifier and the tag in its complement. The tag of Chinese SQ is a base-generated clause, [pro (copula) tag ma/ne], composed of an empty subject pro, an optional copula, a tag, and a final particle, instead of being derived from a fully-fledged structure parallel to the wh-part akin to those of English and Spanish SQs. Such a pro analysis overcomes difficulties encountered in the other accounts regarding the distribution of the final particles and their clause-typing, the optionality of the copula, the ubiquitous uses of tag, the connectivity effects, and the island-insensitivity. Analytically, two seeming variants of SQ imply that the derivation of an SQ depends on whether its tag moves and whether a copula exists.
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.
Taking “sluicing” to be derived by movement + deletion, as represented by , and “pseudo-sluicing” to be a base-generated structure [pro (+be) + wh] (going by ; 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.