Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/319896
Title:
The Syntax of Comparative Correlatives in Mandarin Chinese
Author:
E, Chen-chun
Issue Date:
2014
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation is an analysis, assuming the framework of Government and Binding Theory, of the syntactic derivation of comparative correlative constructions (hereafter CCs for short) in Mandarin Chinese. It attempts to evaluate the theoretical adequacy of extant treatments of CCs and propose an alternative analysis to the prevailing adjunct approach. CC constructions exist crosslinguistically. An English example is The more chocolate I eat, the happier I feel. In Chinese, a simplex CC sentence consists of two non-coordinated clauses; the lexical word yue, which indicates degree, is obligatory in both clauses, as illustrated in (1): (1) tianqi yue₁ re, dian-fei yue₂ gao. weather [ YUE₁ hot], electricity-fee [YUE₂ high] `The hotter the weather is, the higher the electricity fee is.' Unlike the English comparative phrase, which has been shown to undergo A-bar movement in earlier studies, the yue-constituent remains in situ. I argue that yue is generated in [Spec, DegP] and behaves as an indefinite in-situ degree element on a par with an in-situ wh-element (Li 1992; Tsai 1994; Cheng and Rooryck 2000; Cheng 2003a, 2003b). The yue-variable in each clause is unselectively bound (Lewis 1975, Heim 1982, Cheng and Huang 1996) by an implicit CORRELATIVITY OPERATOR and does not undergo A-bar movement. In addition to the idiosyncratic in-situ yue-phrase, another property of CCs is the syntactic interdependency between the constitutive clauses. Earlier studies (Dikken 2005, Taylor 2006, 2009, Tsao and Hsiao 2002) treat the preceding clause as an adjunct. However, an adjunct approach cannot account for the property of syntactic interdependency. As an alternative, I assume Rizzi's (1997) work on the Split CP Hypothesis, arguing that Chinese CCs implicate the information structure in the left periphery and that they are a type of Focus construction. A Chinese CC sentence like (1) is projected by a null functional head Foc⁰. The first clause is focused and base-generated in [Spec, FocP] and the second clause is the complement of the null Foc⁰. The [+focus]feature in Foc⁰ licenses the co-occurrence of yue₁ and yue₂. This alternative analysis can capture not only crosslinguistic commonalities but also the language-internal property of topic-prominence in Chinese.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Comparative Correlatives; Focus; Split CP; Syntax; Topic; Linguistics; Chinese
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Linguistics; Anthropology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Harley, Heidi

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleThe Syntax of Comparative Correlatives in Mandarin Chineseen_US
dc.creatorE, Chen-chunen_US
dc.contributor.authorE, Chen-chunen_US
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is an analysis, assuming the framework of Government and Binding Theory, of the syntactic derivation of comparative correlative constructions (hereafter CCs for short) in Mandarin Chinese. It attempts to evaluate the theoretical adequacy of extant treatments of CCs and propose an alternative analysis to the prevailing adjunct approach. CC constructions exist crosslinguistically. An English example is The more chocolate I eat, the happier I feel. In Chinese, a simplex CC sentence consists of two non-coordinated clauses; the lexical word yue, which indicates degree, is obligatory in both clauses, as illustrated in (1): (1) tianqi yue₁ re, dian-fei yue₂ gao. weather [ YUE₁ hot], electricity-fee [YUE₂ high] `The hotter the weather is, the higher the electricity fee is.' Unlike the English comparative phrase, which has been shown to undergo A-bar movement in earlier studies, the yue-constituent remains in situ. I argue that yue is generated in [Spec, DegP] and behaves as an indefinite in-situ degree element on a par with an in-situ wh-element (Li 1992; Tsai 1994; Cheng and Rooryck 2000; Cheng 2003a, 2003b). The yue-variable in each clause is unselectively bound (Lewis 1975, Heim 1982, Cheng and Huang 1996) by an implicit CORRELATIVITY OPERATOR and does not undergo A-bar movement. In addition to the idiosyncratic in-situ yue-phrase, another property of CCs is the syntactic interdependency between the constitutive clauses. Earlier studies (Dikken 2005, Taylor 2006, 2009, Tsao and Hsiao 2002) treat the preceding clause as an adjunct. However, an adjunct approach cannot account for the property of syntactic interdependency. As an alternative, I assume Rizzi's (1997) work on the Split CP Hypothesis, arguing that Chinese CCs implicate the information structure in the left periphery and that they are a type of Focus construction. A Chinese CC sentence like (1) is projected by a null functional head Foc⁰. The first clause is focused and base-generated in [Spec, FocP] and the second clause is the complement of the null Foc⁰. The [+focus]feature in Foc⁰ licenses the co-occurrence of yue₁ and yue₂. This alternative analysis can capture not only crosslinguistic commonalities but also the language-internal property of topic-prominence in Chinese.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectComparative Correlativesen_US
dc.subjectFocusen_US
dc.subjectSplit CPen_US
dc.subjectSyntaxen_US
dc.subjectTopicen_US
dc.subjectLinguisticsen_US
dc.subjectChineseen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLinguisticsen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorHarley, Heidien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHarley, Heidien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCarnie, Andrewen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKarimi, Siminen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZhang, Qingen_US
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