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22 - The Case for Case in Chinese

from Part Four - Syntax-semantics, Pragmatics, and Discourse Issues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2022

Chu-Ren Huang
Affiliation:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Yen-Hwei Lin
Affiliation:
Michigan State University
I-Hsuan Chen
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
Yu-Yin Hsu
Affiliation:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
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Summary

Case theory is a theoretical tool in the generative grammar to capture generalizations regarding categorial distribution, particularly the nominal category in relation to others. The notion of case can describe the close relation between grammatical categories, such as a verb/preposition and its object, or the subject of a sentence and the tense or agreement of the sentence. This chapter reviews the advantages of adopting the notion of abstract case in Chinese, a language without overt morphological case marking. Data and issues discussed include how the challenges Chinese poses to the word order correlations proposed as universals or tendencies in typological studies cease to be problems if the notion of abstract case interacts with word order universals, what the postverbal structure constraint is in Chinese, and how Case plays a role in the analysis, whether there are true pre-nominal PPs in Chinese, and whether tensed and non-tensed clauses can be distinguished in Chinese, as well as the role of case in capturing the behavior of clauses.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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