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Share Paper 2710

Descriptive Complement Constructions as Concealed Pseudoclefts in Chinese
Cheng-Yu Edwin Tsai
259-267 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In this paper it is argued that the Descriptive Complement Construction in Chinese can be understood as pseudocleft structures, in which the subject is a headless relative containing a null nominal head with reference to event properties whereas the descriptive adjectival phrase serves as the main predicate. By treating the verbal suffix de as a gerund head, relevant phenomena to the internal structure of the headless relative (e.g., object fronting and verb copying) can be explained in a systematic manner. This novel approach has implications for both gerundive nominalization in Chinese and the existence of "adjunct-oriented" headless relatives with complementary interpretive characteristics to ordinary "argument-oriented" headless relatives in this language.

Published in

Proceedings of the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Jaehoon Choi, E. Alan Hogue, Jeffrey Punske, Deniz Tat, Jessamyn Schertz, and Alex Trueman
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Printed edition: $375.00