Syntax and Semantics of Quantification in Chinese

Jianxin Wu

Following the spirit of Hornstein (1995), this thesis explores the possibility of eliminating entire LF A’-movement. The standard LF-movement analysis of wh-in-situ is shown to be neither conceptually desirable nor empirically adequate. Wh-in-situ are bound in situ by the abstract Q-operator via unselective quantification. A wh-adverb like weishenme (why) is subject to Q-licensing because it denotes a set of proposition and, therefore, cannot be unselectively bound. Its island effects result from the fact that this licensing must be clause-bounded. Rhetorical wh-questions (RWQ) in a wh-in-situ language are subject to unselective quantification of the same sort, but with their whs being bound by the abstract negation operator. This binding can be blocked by an intervening scope-bearing element, however. To overcome this, a wh must raise overtly, a clear indication that there is no QR as a process in Universal Grammar. In addition, this thesis investigates the correlation of overt movement with quantification. For the first time it observes that whs in Chinese can move in the overt syntax and, unlike wh-movement in English, this movement displays an array of antireconstruction effects. It argues that this is an instance of topicalization where the moved wh checks the topic feature in SpecTopP. Furthermore, Chinese forms a partitive phrase by raising an NP to SpecTopP and stranding its associated quantifier determiner (Q-det). This partial movement obeys Diesing’s (1992) Mapping Principle in that the weak Q-det must be stranded inside, and the strong one outside, the VP-shell. Finally, dou- quantification is reanalyzed in Minimalist terms. On this analysis, dou is treated as the head of Distributional Phrase (DistP)--a functional projection that sits between VP and AgrsP. DistP hosts the strong Q-feature and must be checked off before Spell-Out, an operation that can be done by either Move or Merge, as long as participating checker and checkee agree in their Q-feature strength (Barwise and Cooper, 1981). This analysis derives an array of facts associated with dou-quantification such as leftward-quantification, incompatibility of dou with a weak element, locality conditions and blocking effects. By assuming that dou can quantify over a set of proposition (Cheng and Huang 1994), this analysis provides a unifying account for dou-quantification of whs into an island, and for the focus use of dou (by invoking Rooth’s P-set as the domain of universal quantification).