Edited by Kunio Nishiyama, Hideki Kishimoto and Edith Aldridge
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 250] 2018
► pp. 139–153
Chapter 7. Wh-indefinites in East Asian languages
This paper investigates the syntactic and semantic behaviors of wh-indefinites in Chinese, Japanese and Korean when they receive an existential reading, and identifies the source of such a reading in the three languages. The observation is that Japanese and Korean pattern together in terms of the behavior of their complex wh-indefinites, while Chinese and Korean show apparently different behaviors regarding their bare wh-indefinites. However, a closer scrutiny suggests that bare wh-indefinites in Korean and Chinese share more commonalities than has been reported in the literature in that they both can have an apparently exceptional wide scope reading when they are interpreted as indicating a specific referent.