Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4446
Title: Syntactic dependencies in Mandarin Chinese
Authors: Zhang, Ning
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Chinese Language
Syntax
Dependent Clauses
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: University of Toronto
Abstract: This thesis investigates two kinds of syntactic dependencies in Mandarin Chinese: uninterpretable feature checking of clause-level functional heads and dou quantificational binding. Three issues are discussed with respect to checking: object shift, yes/no questions, and the aspect particle le raising. Chinese object shift is argued to be triggered by a focus marker which adjoins to an object. This study also presents a unified treatment of various types of yes/no questions in Chinese. The uninterpretable [Q] of yes/no question C is checked either by the merged particle ma, by overt movement of bu/mei(you )-V from Neg to C, or by covert movement of [Q] of shi-bu-shi and A-not-A words. In both object shift and questions the optionality between overt and covert checking occurs. The thesis argues that the strong value of the feature strength of a functional head can be triggered by a certain feature in its complement domain. Thus the choice of overt vs. covert checking can be determined in the computation. The thesis also explains the interactions between yes/no questions and negation by Relativized Minimality and feature compatibility. Furthermore, the thesis argues that sentence final le is base-generated in I and moves to C. As for dou quantification, it is shown that a licenser of dou can be an element which is capable of measuring the eventuality, a universal quantifier, an interrogative operator of a WH variable, or an element which has the word wulun 'no-matter' adjoined to it. A pronominal binding approach is adopted rather than a movement checking or unselective operator binding approach. Dou binding allows multiple licensers and the Ba/Bei-phrase blocking effect is explained by the notion of Complete Functional Complex. Like checking, dou binding also respects the Shortest Distance Principle. When dou's licenser has a dependent, whether it is a trace or an operator variable, the dependent must be base-generated in the same clause where dou occurs. Based on the case studies of both checking and binding, the thesis advocates a unified treatment to these two kinds of syntactic dependencies in the computation system.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4446
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