The preverbal NPs in Chinese

Lu, Zhong-Ying (1991) The preverbal NPs in Chinese. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of the syntactic structures of Chinese preverbal NPs, which is one of the prominent characteristics of the Chinese language. Chapter two displays various preverbal NPs in Mandarin Chinese, which are derived from the basic word order. In this chapter, the most important preverbal NP, subject (pre-S), is explained within the generative grammar framework. -- Chapter three investigates fronted objects in the position between the subject and the verb (pre-O), and presents some licensing conditions for such preverbal objects. It is also shown that there is a semantic restriction, i.e., subject-object substitutability, that obstructs object movement. -- Chapter four discusses topicalization in Mandarin Chinese. It is claimed that the topic in topicalization (pre-T1) is in the SPEC of CP, leaving a covert trace or overt anaphor that is a resumptive element in the object position. Such a topic differs from the preverbal object because the topic, not the preverbal object, has a comment clause upon which it is predicated, even though they are both theta-marked by the verb. -- Chapter five deals with two types of topic: the topic associated with prepositions (pre-T2), and the topic which is an extracted possessor NP (pre-T3). It is argued that every pre-T2 must have an appropriate proposition preceding it in D-structure, and that a pre-T2 is assigned a theta role by the predication through the preposition. This chapter also presents the fact that a pre-T3 is extracted from the subject position quite freely, but that this extraction is restricted in certain cases from the object position. It is shown that there is an interesting similarity between the object movement and the pre-T3 extraction, that is, when the possessor NP is in the object position, subject-possessor substitutability blocks the extraction.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5570
Item ID: 5570
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 109-112.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 1991
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Chinese language--Noun phrase; Chinese language--Word order

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