The present paper examines the syntax and semantics of adjectives in Mandarin Chinese and argues that adjectives have to be recognized as a separate part of speech in Mandarin. I show that adnominal adjectives introduced by de should not be analysed as reduced relative clauses or small clauses, since adjectives that cannot be used predicatively can be used adnominally in conjunction with de. For adjectives in direct juxtaposition with the noun, evidence from N-subdeletion and multiple adjective ordering shows that the [A N] sequence has to be analysed as a noun phrase, not as a compound. Accordingly, both types of modification strucures, ‘A de N’ and ‘A N’ need to be taken into account by typological studies. Finally I provide evidence for the existence of two morphologically different classes of adjectives with distinct semantic and syntactic properties, i.e. ‘simple’ adjectives and ‘derived’ adjectives.
2013. Reduplication of adjectives in Chinese: a default state. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 22:2 ► pp. 101 ff.
Pan, Haihua, Shuo Lu, Xinjie Chen & Dapeng Lu
2020. The Semantic Properties and Syntactic Behaviors of the Complex Forms of Chinese Adjectives —A discussion based on four southern Chinese dialects. Bulletin of the Chinese Linguistic Society of Japan 2020:267 ► pp. 24 ff.
2021. Nobody there? On the non-existence of nobody in Mandarin Chinese and related issues. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique 66:3 ► pp. 279 ff.
THAM, SHIAO WEI
2013. Change of state verbs and result state adjectives in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Linguistics 49:3 ► pp. 647 ff.
2018. The word status of Chinese adjective-noun combinations. Linguistics 56:1 ► pp. 207 ff.
2019. Chinese Adjective-Noun Combinations. In Competition in Inflection and Word-Formation [Studies in Morphology, 5], ► pp. 307 ff.
2020. Nominal property concepts and substance possession in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 29:4 ► pp. 393 ff.
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