Some Issues in Chinese Syntax and Semantics --- Covert categories and Logical Form
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AbstractThis paper discusses three issues in Chinese syntax and semantics, with special references to covert categories and Logical Form. First, it will argue that Gapless Relative Clauses (GRC) are not complement clauses, but Relative Clauses licensed by a covert semantic variable. Almost all the arguments for the complement clause analysis of GRC, as presented in Huang (2016), could be argued to be evidences not necessarily against the relative clause analysis of GRC with the help of the following relative clause (RC) hierarchy: Argument RC > Adjunct RC > GRC, if one assumes that the more to the left is easier to be recovered than the ones to the right, and the less recoverable ones should be closer to the head noun. The paper will show that the gapless requirement on complement clauses should be changed to the following: no syntactic or semantic gap in the clause that is related to the head noun, in addition to a condition on the relationship between the clause in question and the head noun.

Next, the paper makes a bold attempt to show that the LF movement of wh-phrases and quantifier raising (QR) may not be possible in Chinese sentences when the adverbial quantifier dou (都) is associated with a wh-phrase or universal quantifier like mei ge ren in the object position such as (a) ta dou xihuan shui (他都喜歡誰) and (b) *ta dou xihua mei yige ren (他都喜歡每一個人). If the above operations were allowed, then sentence (a) should have the reading similar to Shui ta dou xihuan (誰他都喜歡) and sentence (b) should be grammatical as in
每個人他都喜歡, with the assumption that the interpretation rules for dou apply at LF. Since the sentences in question apparently do not have the relevant readings given above, one has to assume that the relevant operations should happen before LF. The paper will try to show that even the wh-phrase wei shenme (
為什麼) of reason could be accounted for by employing an approach similar to the operator-variable approach, thus not appealing to the LF movement account of wh-phrases.

Finally, the paper claims that all noun phrases including quantifiers in Mandarin Chinese could be used as a bound variable, which is in contrast to the Generalized Quantifier Theory which advocates the idea that all the noun phrases including proper names and definite NPs could be interpreted as a quantifier. My claim is supported by the possessive use of all noun phrases in sentences such as yige ren you yige ren de youdian (一個人有一個人的優點), meige ren dou you meige ren de tedian (每個人都每個人的特點), geren you geren de xiangfa (各人有各人的想法), where the second occurrence in the possessive position cannot be interpreted as a quantifier and has to be interpreted as a bound variable. Notice that the bound variable interpretation of indefinites does not obey Heim’s (1983) novelty condition. The consequences of the above claim will be further explored and discussed in the paper.
All Author(s) ListPan Haihua
Name of ConferenceThe 26th Annual Conference of International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL-26)
Start Date of Conference04/05/2018
End Date of Conference06/05/2018
Place of ConferenceMadison, Wisconsin
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Year2018
Month5
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-25-10 at 11:39