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Share Paper 3384

Wh-indefinites Are Dependent Indefinites: A Study on shenme
Zhuo Chen
142-150 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Non-interrogative wh-phrases in Mandarin Chinese have been claimed to be polarity sensitive items (Huang 1982; Li 1992; Cheng 1994; Lin 1998, 2004, 2014; Xie 2007; Lin et al. 2014; Lin and Giannakidou 2015). Lin (1998) put forward a Non-Entailment-of-Existence Condition on the distribution of these wh-phrases, which echoes the non-veridicality story on wh-indefinites (Xie 2007; Lin and Giannakidou 2015). In both accounts, non-interrogative wh-phrases are predicted to be ruled out in simple affirmative sentences. The current study, however, brings in new data where the non-interrogative wh-phrase shenme 'what' is licensed in simple affirmative sentences, thus undermining the previous analyses. I will show that an analysis of shenme couched in Dynamic Plural Logic (Brasoveanu 2008; Henderson 2014) provides better coverage of the data.

Published in

Proceedings of the 35th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Wm. G. Bennett, Lindsay Hracs, and Dennis Ryan Storoshenko
Table of contents
Printed edition: $395.00