On word order, binding relations, and plurality in Chinese Noun Phrases

Željko Bošković,

I-Ta Chris Hsieh


We provide a semantic account of the free ordering of NP-internal elements in Chinese and argue that this provides evidence for the lack of DP in Chinese. We also extend this account to the Mandarin plural marker -men, tying the definiteness of -men phrases and its number/definiteness interaction to the classifier status of -men and the lack of DP in Chinese. We show that the binding properties of Chinese possessors also provide evidence for the no-DP analysis of Chinese. Finally, we propose a semantic account of certain differences in the order of NP-internal elements between Chinese and Serbo-Croatian, another language that lacks DP.


Przedstawiony w artykule opis semantycznych uwarunkowań swobodnego szyku składników fraz nominalnych w języku chińskim jest dla autorów podstawą twierdzenia, że język ten nie posiada składniowej kategorii DP. Rozszerzając analizę na wykładnik liczby mnogiej -men, autorzy łączą określoność fraz zawierających ten wykładnik oraz interakcje między semantyką liczby mnogiej i referencji określonej -men z jego statusem klasyfikatora, a także z brakiem projekcji składniowej DP w języku chińskim. Również własności przydawek dzierżawczych w chińskich frazach nominalnych sugerują brak kategorii DP w gramatyce języka chińskiego. Artykuł zawiera również semantyczny opis niektórych różnic w porządku linearnym składników fraz nominalnych pomiędzy językiem chińskim i językiem serbsko-chorwackim, również pozbawionym składniowej kategorii DP.

Słowa kluczowe: adjectives, classifiers, demonstratives, possessors, relatives , przymiotnik, klasyfikator, zaimek wskazujący, przydawka dzierżawcza (lub zaimek/rzeczownik dzierżawczy), zaimek względny

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