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Object noun phrase dislocation in Mandarin Chinese

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Title: Object noun phrase dislocation in Mandarin Chinese
Author: Qu, Yanfeng
Degree Doctor of Philosophy - PhD
Program Linguistics
Copyright Date: 1994
Subject Keywords Chinese language -- Noun phrase; Chinese language -- Word order
Abstract: This dissertation studies leftward dislocation of object Noun Phrases in Mandarin Chinese within the framework of Government and Binding theory. Although the canonical word order in Chinese is S(ubject)-V(erb)-O(bject), it also exhibits OSV and SOV word orders. After an introduction in Ch. 1, I discuss OSV constructions in Ch.2. I argue that the S-initial object NP is moved there, since its association with a gap in the canonical object position obeys the subjacency condition. Based on several diagnostic tests, I propose that Chinese has two kinds of short-distance NP fronting: one is A’-movement and the other is A-movement. Adopting the Split Infl Hypothesis, I postulate a fully articulated clause structure for Chinese. In particular, I propose that the fronted NP in A-movement lands in [Spec AgrOP] as a kind of overt raising, while the one in A’-movement further leaves that spec position and is CP-adjoined. I also examine long-distance NP fronting, showing that it is invariably A’-movement. In Ch. 3, I investigate object shift, which yields SOV constructions. I argue that this syntactic process represents a type of A-movement, not A’-movement as concluded in previous studies. Specifically, I propose that the subject NP and the object NP in this construction overtly raise to [Spec AgrSP] and [Spec AgrOP] respectively. In Ch.4, I examine the interactions between an object wh-NP and dou, the adverb of universal quantification. I propose that wh-phrases, like indefinites, can be either presuppositional or existential. If they are within VP (i.e. remain postverbal), they are subject to existential closure and get an existential/interrogative reading. If, however, they are outside VP (i.e. shifted to the left of dou), they define the range of the quantifier dou and obtain the presuppositional/universal reading. The conclusion is that there is a strict correlation between the S-structure positions of the wh-phrase and its interpretations. The exhaustive list reading of the in-situ wh-object associated with the interrogative reading is derived from the fact that it is in the scope of dou at S-structure. In Ch. 5, I summarize the major findings of this dissertation and raise several issues for future research.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/8955
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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