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The Syntax of the Abstract-type Measurement Construction in Mandarin Chinese

Abstract

This paper investigates a special sub-type of measurement construction in Mandarin Chinese, namely the [Num-measure word-de-N] construction where the N is an abstract dimension-denoting noun. Evidence is presented to show that the abstract-type [Num-measure word-de-N] should be fundamentally distinguished from the quantifying-/modifying-type [Num-measure word-de-N], in which the [Num-measure word] sequence serves to quantize/modify a semantically concrete, entity-denoting N. At the interpretive level, this paper claims that the abstracttype [Num-measure word-de-N] is semantically definite. At the syntactic level, a clausal analysis within the framework of the Predicate Inversion theory is pursued to account for the derivation of the abstract-type measurement construction. Last, it is proposed that the word order distinction between the Chinese abstracttype measurement construction, which is N-final, and its English counterpart, where the N linearly precedes [Num-measure word], can be explained in terms of a parametric variation with respect to the (non-)application of N-raising after Predicate Inversion.

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Mandarin and Scalarity

. Additive particles under stress. In Proceedings of the 8th Semantics and Linguistic Theory ( SALT VIII ). 111–129. Lassiter, Dan. 2011. Measurement and modality: The scalar basis of modal semantics. New York, NY: New York University dissertation. Lee, Thomas. 1986. Studies on quantification in Chinese . Los Angeles, CA: University of California, Los Angeles dissertation. Lin, Jo-Wang. 1996. Polarity licensing and wh-phrase quantification in Chinese . Massachusetts, MA: University of Massachusetts dissertation. Lin, Jo-Wang. 1998, On

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Nonlinguistic Factors that Affect the Degree of Foreign Accent in Second Language Mandarin

background and training. The Modern Language Journal 97(1). 144–160. Wayland, Ratree. 1997. Non-native production of Thai: Acoustic measurements and accentedness ratings. Applied Linguistics 18(3). 345–373. Yang, Bei. 2012. The gap between perception and production of tones by American learners of Mandarin – An intralingual perspective. Chinese as a Second Language Research 1(1). 33–53. Yang, Chunsheng. 2016. The acquisition of L2 Mandarin prosody: From experimental studies to pedagogical practice . Philadelphia & Amsterdam: John Benjamins

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