On the syntax of Chinese nominals
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This dissertation investigates the use of classifiers in Chinese and more specifically compares Mandarin and the Wu dialect in terms of classifier usage. Different syntactic structures are proposed for the surface form [Cl + N] to derive its definite and indefinite interpretations. Classifiers are argued to encode only the feature of countability. The classifier in Wu moves to D when the [Cl + N] form has a definite interpretation. Xie some , usually considered to be a plural marker or a plural classifier in the linguistic literature, is argued to be a quantifier which can be used with both count and mass nouns. This dissertation also analyzes the so-called complex definites. Pronouns are assumed to be determiners in Mandarin. Possessives function like adjectives and they do not encode the definiteness feature in Mandarin. Multiple possessives realizing different theta roles can occur prenominally and their order is fixed. It is assumed that different possessives occupy the specifier positions of different functional projections. Proper names in Mandarin are argued to be in various syntactic positions. Demonstrative determiners are assumed to project their own phrasal category in this dissertation.