Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4542
Title: The Syntactic Structure of Chinese Nominal Phrases
Authors: Wang, Honglei
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Chinese Language
Syntax
Noun Phrase
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Northwestern University, Evanston (Illinois)
Abstract: The DP Hypothesis proposes that nominal phrases can be analyzed as consisting of Determiner Phrase (DP) on top of Noun Phrase (NP); however, there is a debate on whether this hypothesis works for all languages. Given that previous studies on Chinese leave this question unresolved, this dissertation investigates new empirical evidence to test whether Chinese nominal phrases have DP. Based on various pieces of evidence, I conclude that the structure of Chinese nominal phrases consists of DP on top of NP, which conforms to the DP Hypothesis. After laying out the research question and previous studies in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 investigates the syntactic structure of Chinese nominal phrases. Based on the assumption that only constituents may undergo ellipsis, this chapter finds that the ellipsis phenomena in Chinese nominal phrases reveal a hie rarchical structure within Chinese nominal phrases. Chapter 3 investigates whether Chinese nominal phrases may bear any structural parallelism to Chinese clauses given that clausal-nominal parallelisms are a motivation for the DP Hypothesis. It is shown that there is a strong parallelism between clauses and nominal phrases in Chinese. Chapter 4 tests Chinese regarding some typological generalizations that distinguish languages that have DP from languages that do not have DP. The result shows that in most of these generalizations, Chinese patterns with languages that have DP. Although Chinese seems to behave like languages without DP in terms of some of the generalizations (e.g. radical pro drop), alternative analyses indicate that this may not be due to the absence of DP. Chapter 5 examines the properties of Chinese derived nominals (their aspect properties, co-occurrence with numeral-classifier sequences, definiteness) and argues that these properties reveal that the syntactic structure of derived nominals in Chinese includes functional projections such as DP, Classifier Phrase and Number Phrase.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11707/4542
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