This paper addresses the licensing problem of indefinite/numeral subjects in Mandarin (Li 1998, Tsai 2001). It proposes that what have been deemed "exceptional" cases, where such subjects are grammatical without an expected licenser, are inherently conditional constructions. The meaning of the preverbal particle jiu is shown to be both scalar and modal, and it is also demonstrated how modal sentences without jiu come to license indefinite/numeral subjects through a similar conditional structure.
Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-471-3 library binding
vii + 598 pages
publication date: 2017
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA