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ERIC Number: ED512857
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 190
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4909-5
Aspects of Distributivity in Mandarin Chinese
Tsai, Yaping
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Delaware
One important task of any semantic theory of plurals is to account for the collective/distributive ambiguity. The goal of this dissertation is to achieve greater understanding of plurality and the collectivity/distributivity distinction from a cross-linguistic perspective by examining the phenomenon of distributivity in Mandarin Chinese. I show that different mechanisms in Mandarin Chinese give rise to distributivity. Chapter two discusses the type of distributivity that is overtly marked by an adverbial expression, "dou", a distributive operator with universal quantificational force operating on the VP, and focuses on a restriction imposed on the domain of this distributive quantification by another adverbial, "quan." I propose that "quan" is a domain operator whose function is to restrict the domain of quantification for the distributive operator "dou." Chapter three introduces a type of distributivity that arises in the absence of the distributive operator "dou" discussed in the previous chapter. I argue that this type of distributivity is the result of a partitive NP construction, and propose a semantic analysis of cardinal partitives that derives distributivity. Chapter four examines the distributivity that is derived by another adverbial expression, "ge." I argue that "ge" is a proposition-summing operator and that distributivity of this type results from the predication relation between a plural NP and a plural VP. Chapter five concludes the thesis. I argue that the collective/distributive ambiguity in natural language is better understood as a complex interplay among various factors and discuss some theoretical implications for theories of distributivity and plurality based on the analyses proposed in the dissertation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A