Yě, yě, yě - On the syntax and semantics of Mandarin yě

Author: Zhaole Yang
LOT Number: 571
ISBN: 978-94-6093-356-1
Pages: 199
Year: 2020
1st promotor: prof. dr. R.P.E. Sybesma
2nd promotor: prof. dr. D. Hole
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This dissertation presents a description and analysis of the Mandarin particle ‘also’. It provides a comprehensive syntactic and semantic treatment of three different manifestations of , namely, Additive , which is similar to English also, Parametric/Scalar , which we find in ‘no matter’ and even/even if contexts, and, finally, Modal , basically a concessivity marker.

Additive, Parametric/Scalar and Modal are different in interpretation and require different licensing conditions. Additive can only be licensed if an antecedent can be retrieved from the context: the antecedent must be explicitly asserted or otherwise present in the active context and it must have the same argumentative orientation as the host sentence. Parametric/scalar can only be licensed if scalarity is marked in the sentence. Finally, as a concessivity marker, Modal presupposes the existence of a concessive proposition as an alternative. Pragmatically, the use of Modal results in a polite, indirect, tactful or less absolute reading of the host sentence. The syntactic properties of the different manifestations of are explored vis à vis Butler's modal hierarchy and Cinque’s adverb hierarchy. We conclude that there are two positions of in the syntactic structure, one in CP and the other in IP.



This dissertation presents a description and analysis of the Mandarin particle ‘also’. It provides a comprehensive syntactic and semantic treatment of three different manifestations of , namely, Additive , which is similar to English also, Parametric/Scalar , which we find in ‘no matter’ and even/even if contexts, and, finally, Modal , basically a concessivity marker.

Additive, Parametric/Scalar and Modal are different in interpretation and require different licensing conditions. Additive can only be licensed if an antecedent can be retrieved from the context: the antecedent must be explicitly asserted or otherwise present in the active context and it must have the same argumentative orientation as the host sentence. Parametric/scalar can only be licensed if scalarity is marked in the sentence. Finally, as a concessivity marker, Modal presupposes the existence of a concessive proposition as an alternative. Pragmatically, the use of Modal results in a polite, indirect, tactful or less absolute reading of the host sentence. The syntactic properties of the different manifestations of are explored vis à vis Butler's modal hierarchy and Cinque’s adverb hierarchy. We conclude that there are two positions of in the syntactic structure, one in CP and the other in IP.



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