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Revisiting Pseudo-Incorporation: Post-verbal Non-referential Bare NPs in Mandarin
Hsin-Lun Huang
203-213 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

Unlike English, Mandarin allows non-referential bare NPs that do not involve functional projections or plural marking. When a post-verbal temporal duration adverbial (DrP) is present, bare NP objects are restricted to occurring in the lowest position (i.e., to the right of the DrP), whereas DP objects have to occur higher (i.e., to the left of the DrP). This paper argues that this positional distinction between NP and DP objects can be attributed to the NPs being a case of Pseudo-Incorporation (P-I), where P-I occurs in the lowest argument position in syntax. And the adjunction of DrPs syntactically disambiguates the composition sites of post-verbal NP and DP arguments. The case of Mandarin non-referential NP objects being pseudo-incorporated is established by comparison to Hindi non-Case-marked NP objects that are reported to have undergone P-I (Dayal, 2011). It is shown that Mandarin NP objects, as their Hindi counterparts, exhibit various hallmark properties of P-I that correlate with the post-DrP position in which the NPs occur. An account resorting to the syntax-semantics interface is proposed in this paper to track the syntactic P-I position (i.e., the post-DrP position) and derive from it the various P-I properties.

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