THE MAPPING HYPOTHESIS AND POSTVERBAL STRUCTURES IN MANDARIN CHINESE
Ph.D. Dissertation, 1993
This thesis concerns the correlation between the syntactic positions
of NPs in Mandarin Chinese (Mandarin) and their semantic property of specificity.
It examines the implementation of Diesing's (1992) theory of indefinites
in Mandarin objects, focusing mainly on the Mapping Hypothesis (MH). The
result of the investigation indicates that the MH can provide a straightforward
account for the placement of objects in this language. Chapter 1 presents
an overview of Diesing's analysis and a brief introduction to Mandarin.
Starting with single-complement sentences, chapter 2 first spells out
the co-occurrence restriction on the object and the duration/frequency
phrase (DFP) that, in postverbal positions, a specific object must precede
the DFP whereas a nonspecific object must follow the DFP, which is argued
to be a VP adjunct. It then shows that this constraint comes as a natural
consequence of the MH, which correlates the VP external and internal areas
in syntactic structures with a restrictive clause and the nuclear scope
in the logical form (lf), on the assumption that the presupposition of
existence induced by specific NPs is reflected by their involvement in
the restrictive clause at the semantic level. Chapter 3 further explores
the case in double complement constructions, where the specificity properties
of the objects have been observed to have an effect on their relative
order. As a note for further research, chapter 4 touches on the application
of Diesing's theory of quantification in Mandarin. Based on the observations
that Mandarin indefinites, including WH expressions, exhibit quantificational
variability in various contexts and that numerally quantified indefinites
are generally incompatible with a non-eventive predicate in sentences
without an overt operator, it is suggested that Mandarin indefinites do
not have a quantificational force of their own, even though they may be
interpreted as variables.
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