Judge-dependence in quality nouns
A semantic analysis of the Mandarin Chinese “you NP” structure
By combining the idea of property concepts and the kernel-based theory of subjectivity, this paper proposes an analysis of the otherwise mysterious behavior of the Mandarin “you” predicates, where subjectivity/evidentiality and possessive/attributive readings come and go in an intricate way. The paper presents a phenomenon of Mandarin called possessive Property Concept predicates, involving a possessive morpheme you “have” and a bare NP. Studying the subjectivity puzzle in Chinese advances our understanding of information source and information force in the following way. The Chinese fact, as a separate element, is part of the bigger picture about subjectivity. To explain how the subjectivity predicate as a natural class connects with evidentiality, this paper provides an approach to probe subjectivity through examining the information source change, which is derived from removing or adding evidential morpheme(s).
Keywords: quality noun, subjectivity, evidentials, information source versus information force, possessive constructions, Chinese ‘you’ structure, relative truth, formal semantics
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