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Title: Functional projections and thematic role assignment in Chinese
Author: Rhys, Catrin Siân
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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The question that motivates this thesis is how to account for the semi-free word order of Chinese. This is addressed in terms of the licensing mechanisms that are operative in Chinese. The theoretical context of this investigation in the current emphasis on the use of functional categories to explain syntactic phenomena. The past few years have seen an explosion in the range of functional categories assumed to be available and relevant in the construction of a syntactic analysis. The proliferation of functional categories brings with it a change in the emphasis of grammar, whereby the burden of syntactic explanation has shifted from the substantive elements to the functional elements. This has had far reaching consequences for theories of parametric variation. If the surface properties of a language are determined by the functional categories, then differences in surface properties must be determined by differences in the functional categories. It follows from this that the locus of parametric variation will be the lexical properties of the functional categories involved. We therefore expect all languages to display equivalent complexity in the functional lexicon. The research on functional categories, however, has concentrated largely on inflectional morphemes that are argued to trigger head movement and hence affect surface order. What of a language like Chinese with no agreement or inflection? Either Chinese is evidence against the universality of the lexical functional distinction or the functional categories of Chinese are morphologically different. The hypothesis is that the lexical-functional distinction is still relevant. The question then is what are the functional categories of Chinese, and what is their relationship to the licensing of the satellites of a lexical head.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available