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Title: The syntax and syntax-external interface of quantification in Mandarin Chinese
Author: Cao, H.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The thesis investigates the phenomena of quantification in Mandarin Chinese. I provide an account of the word order of quantification in Mandarin Chinese by studying its syntax and syntax-external interface. I argue that the unique word order of Chinese quantification results from the obligatory requirement of two lexical items—dou ‘all’ (from mei ‘every’) and you ‘have’ (from the indefinites). I show that the syntax and semantics of the two items bring about flexibility of preverbal word order of universals and indefinites, which further leads to the absence of quantifier raising in Mandarin. On dou, I argue it is an associated adverb rather than a head of functional projection. Semantically, it is seen as a D operator and universal quantifier. It allows ‘intermediate distributivity’ and guarantees the maximality of the domain of the associated DP. Mei ‘every’ is argued to be a distributive dependant and set the value for Cover, a variable brought by dou. I show that you and indefinite is a parallel pair of mei…dou. I argue the licenser of preverbal indefinites you is a functional head occupying the Infl position and I argue against the verbal analysis. I also account for the adjacency between you and indefinite. I argue that the quantification mechanism in Mandarin provides important evidence for Huang’s argument that Chinese is more analytic than English and many other languages on the syntactic-analytic parameter (2005). I discover a new type of distributivity other than that marked by dou. It is formed with the plural subject under focus. I claim that it is a discourse-oriented distributivity and explore the intricate relation between the grouping of focus-introduced alternatives and the selection of the distributive reading under the Economy Principle.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available