Chapter published in:New Explorations in Chinese Theoretical Syntax: Studies in honor of Yen-Hui Audrey Li
Edited by Andrew Simpson
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 272] 2022
► pp. 301–330
Constraints on the representation of anaphoric definiteness in Mandarin Chinese
There is increasing evidence that languages may use distinct forms to encode definiteness in instances of anaphoric and non-anaphoric definiteness, for example, distinct determiners, or bare classifier vs. bare noun patterns. This chapter considers a recent, prominent claim in Jenks (2018) that such distinctions are systematically encoded in Mandarin Chinese via the presence vs. absence of demonstratives with a noun, and regulated by a principle Index!, which requires the use of overt marking of referential indices. The chapter argues that there is greater optionality in the forms used to represent definite NPs in Mandarin than assumed in Jenks’ characterization, and that alternations between definite bare nouns and demonstrative-marked nouns are affected by issues of discourse coherence and parsing expectations.
- 2.Two ways to encode definiteness
- 2.1Jenks (2018) and Mandarin Chinese
- 3.Probing the potential use of bare nouns as anaphoric definites in
- 3.1NPs introduced by ba 把
- 3.2NPs introduced by ti 替
- 3.3NPs introduced by gen 跟
- 3.4NPs introduced by zai 在
- 3.5Revisiting direct and indirect objects
- 3.6Conclusions, consequences and extensions
- 3.7Discourse constraints on the bare noun pattern in anaphoric definiteness
- 4.The representation of anaphoric definites in Korean, Hindi, and
- 5.Summary and conclusions
Published online: 13 April 2022
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