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Title: The Syntax of Adverbials in Chinese and Italian
Authors: Camporese, Nadia
Keywords: Indo-European Languages
Romance Languages
Sino-Tibetan Languages
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Hong Kong University
Abstract: This study is a comparative analysis of the syntax of adverbials in Chinese and Italian in the context of an anti-symmetric view of clause structure. Through a detailed investigation of selected sentence adverbs, aspect adverbs and manner adverbs, various similarities and differences between Italian and Chinese are identified. Chinese adverbials are mostly pre-verbal (with a few exceptions) while in Italian they can also appear after the verb. Such differences are plausibly accounted for through the verb-movement analysis: the Italian verb raises, overtly, to the left of adverbs, probably as a consequence of the rich inflectional morphology, while in Chinese the verb cannot overtly raise out of VP, due to the scarce inflectional morphology of the language. The traditional analysis of adverbs as adjuncts, coupled with directionality parameters, is not needed in order to explain the facts. The study shows that when adverbs such as the Italian adverb presto and the correspondini Chinese adverb kuai ('quickly') appear in different syntactic positions, they may receive differen interpretations. This fact cannot be properly captured by the adjunct analysis, but it is predicted by the F-Spec hypothesis, according to which each class of adverbs occupies a specific syntactic position withir the functional projections above VP.
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