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ERIC Number: ED562910
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 295
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-8354-7
The Interaction of Information Structure and Syntactic Representation in Chinese
Hsu, Yu-Yin
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
This dissertation concerns the interaction of syntax and information structure in Mandarin Chinese and puts the theoretical assumption of parallelism between clauses and noun phrases to the test. It examines and validates the information structural status of the object phrases preposed to clause-internal positions. I argue that Rizzi's (1997) "fine structure of the left periphery" proposed for Indo-European languages can be extended from the analysis of phrases that appear at the clause periphery to the analysis of phrases appearing in the sentence-internal domain in Chinese. This proposal is attested through the examination of the interaction between the preposed objects and other constructions, such as "wh"-questions, the "ba"-construction, modals, the "lian"-construction and the cleft-construction. Moreover, I argue that the so-called verb-copying structure and the fixed ordering of Topic and Focus elements in Chinese are better accounted for under the proposed analysis. The result of this study then explains the compatibility and the restriction of the co-occurrence of CP and TP Foci. The study also attempts to clarify the internal syntactic structure and its semantic effects of nominal expressions in Mandarin Chinese comparing them with those in other languages (Giusti 1996 and Aboh 2004). It is argued that the occurrence of measure words in Chinese represents the notion of "unit" that defines and quantifies over the noun phrase, independent of projections of demonstratives and nouns. Finally, I argue that nominals in Chinese are parallel to clauses in encoding the information structural properties to the elements appearing at the left periphery and the internal domain. This proposal accounts for the semantics and the specific discourse functions expressed by various types of nominal expressions. It also accounts for the non-canonical distribution of adjectives, ellipses of various sizes of nominal phrases, and the phenomenon of internal reordering of words within nominal expressions. The dissertation introduces a wide range of new data which makes it possible to reevaluate previous proposals, and to propose a new perspective to examine the parallelisms between clauses and noun phrases in regard to the interaction between syntax and information structure. [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