Description : This edited volume provides new insights into the architecture of Chinese grammar from a comparative perspective, using principles of cartography. Cartography is a research program within syntactic theory that is guided by the view that syntactic structures contain grammatical and functional information that is ideal for semantic interpretation - by studying the syntactic structures of a particular language, syntacticians can better understand the semantic issues at play in that language. The chapters in this book map out the "topography" of a variety of constructions in Chinese, specifically information structure, wh-question formation, and peripheral functional elements. The syntactic structure of Chinese makes it an ideal language for this line of research, because functional elements are often spread throughout sentences rather than clumped together as is usually dictated by language-specific morphology. Mapping Chinese syntactic structures therefore offers a window into the origin of heavily "scrambled" constructions often observed in other languages. The book includes a preface that will discusses the goal of cartography and explains how the collection contributes towards our understanding of this approach to syntax. The subsequent seven original articles all contain original syntactic data that is invaluable for future research in cartography, and the collection as a whole paints a broader picture of how the alignment between syntax and semantics works in a principled way.
Description : Mandarin Chinese has become indispensable for crosslinguistic comparison and syntactic theorizing. It is nevertheless still difficult to obtain comprehensive answers to research questions, because Chinese is often presented as an "exotic" language defying the analytical tools standardly used for other languages. This book sets out to demystify Chinese. It places controversial issues in the context of current syntactic theories and offers precise analyses based on a large array of representative data. Although the focus is on Modern Mandarin, earlier stages of Chinese are occasionally referred to in order to highlight striking continuities in its history. VO order is one such constant factor, thus invalidating the idea that Chinese went through a major word order change from OV to VO and back to OV. Another claim often made for Chinese as an isolating language, viz. the existence of an impoverished inventory of parts of speech, is likewise refuted. Other long debated issues addressed here include the relevance of the dichotomy topic vs subject prominence and the role of Chinese as a recurring exception to crosscategorial harmonies posited in typological studies.
Description : Architecture of the Periphery in Chinese offers a comprehensive survey on the fine structure of the sentence peripheral domain in Mandarin Chinese from a cartographic perspective. Different functional projections hosting sentence-final particles, implicit operators and other informational components are hierarchically ordered according to the "Subjectivity Scale Constraint" functioning at syntax-discourse interface. Three questions will be essentially addressed: What is the order? How to determine such an order? Why such an order? This research not only gives a thorough examination of the peripheral elements in Chinese but also improves the general understanding of the ordering issue in the left-periphery crosslinguistically. This book is aimed at scholars interested in Chinese syntax or generative syntax.
Description : This volume provides a mechanism to uncover the extremely rich split-CP of V2 languages, in both root and embedded clauses, on the basis of theoretical arguments and empirical findings. The movement of the inflected verbal head is triggered to agree with the profiled informational value of the fronted XP. The V2 “constraint” shall thus be observed as a sum of micro-V2s, in which the inflected head creates Spec-Head configurations with the activated criterial positions in the relevant context. The “second linear” position of the verb results from the movement of the inflected verb to the highest activated criterial head. In other words, there is no “bottleneck effect”, but ordinary violations in terms of locality between fronted XPs. This monograph is aimed principally at postgraduate students and researchers interested in the description of natural languages adopting the guidelines of the Cartography of Syntactic Structures.
Description : Mapping the Left Periphery, the fifth volume in "The Cartography of Syntactic Structures," is entirely devoted to the functional articulation of the so-called complementizer system, the highest part of sentence structure. The papers collected here identify, on the basis of substantial empirical evidence, new atoms of functional structure, which encode specific features that are typically expressed in the left periphery. The volume also submits the richly articulated CP structure to further crosslinguistic checking. The research presented here has led to the identification of new, important restrictions in the relative sequence of elements appearing in the left periphery. With contributions from African languages, Chinese, Hungarian, Romance languages, and Italian dialects, Mapping the Left Periphery will be of interest to syntacticians working on comparative syntax, and more specifically on Romance grammar.
Description : The Handbook of Chinese Linguistics is the first comprehensive introduction to Chinese linguistics from the perspective of modern theoretical and formal linguistics. Containing twenty-five chapters, the book offers a balanced, accessible and thoughtfully organized introduction to some of the most important results of research into Chinese linguistics carried out by theoretical linguists during the last thirty years. Presenting critical overviews of a wide range of major topics, it is the first to meet the great demand for an overview volume on core areas of Chinese linguistics. Authoritative contributions describe and assess the major achievements and controversies of research undertaken in each area, and provide bibliographies for further reading. The contributors refer both to their own work in relevant fields, and objectively present a range of competitor theories and analyses, resulting in a volume that is fully comprehensive in its coverage of theoretical research into Chinese linguistics in recent years. This unique Handbook is suitable both as a primary reader for structured, taught courses on Chinese linguistics at university level, and for individual study by graduates and other professional linguists.
Description : This general introduction to the study of Chinese traces the language's history from its beginnings in the second millennium B.C. to the present, and provides a clear picture of the contemporary language and its sociolinguistic status. Chinese, in its numerous dialects, has more speakers than any other language in the modern world, and this vast extension in time and space brings to its study an exceptional complexity. Nevertheless, Norman's crisp organization and lucid elegance make this extraordinary range of material easily accessible even to those with an elementary understanding of linguistics. Chinese includes information on the genetic and typological connections of the language, the writing system, the classical and early vernacular tongues, the modern language and non-standard dialects, and the history of linguistic reform in China.
Description : This collection of essays provides a critical investigation of syntactic change and how it is related to the lexicon, morphology, and information structure. It draws on data from a wide variety of languages and will be of interest to linguists working on syntactic variation and change.