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TP. T’. NP K. AspP. Asp’. Mickey-Mouse. Null Anaphoric Possessor Arguments of Kinship Nouns and Long-Distance Binding in Mandarin Hezao Ke 1,2 , Ya Zhao 2,3 , Liqun Gao 2 , Shuying Liu 2 The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1 , Beijing Language and Culture University 2 ,
Null Anaphoric Possessor Arguments of Kinship Nouns and Long-Distance Binding in Mandarin
Hezao Ke1,2, Ya Zhao2,3, Liqun Gao2, Shuying Liu2The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor1,
Beijing Language and Culture University2,
Northwest University for Nationalities3.
hospitalize DE time
Conclusions and General Discussion
Now, let me say something about this story. In this story, Mickey Mouse talk to Donald Duck about going to an island for a trip. Finally, er……
3) a. Milaoshu[PP zai Tanglaoya zhuyuan de shihou] dai-le erziqu xiaodao lvyou.
Mickey-Mouse at Donald-Duck hospitalize DE time take-ASP son to island travel.
‘Mickey Mouse, during the time when Donald Duckwas hospitalized, took (his) son to the island for a trip.’
The NP Mickey Mouse c-commands the kinship noun son, but Donald Duck, which is a NP inside the PP, does not c-command son.
3)b. Xiaoqingwa[PPzaixiaohemashuijiao de shihou] chidiao-le hanbao.
Frog at Hippo sleep DE time eat-off-ASP hamburger.
‘Mr. Frog, during the time when Mr. Hippo was asleep, ate (his) hamburger.’
2) a. Zhangsan dai-leerziqu Qingdao.
Zhangsan take-ASPsonto Qingdao.
‘Zhangsantook (his) son to Qingdao.’
Used a similar story except all the occurrences of kinship nouns were replaced with other nouns such as schoolbag, dog,etc. At the end of the story, a control sentence was presented:
2)b. Zhangsanna-le shubaohuisushe.
Zhangsan take-ASP schoolbag to dormitory .
‘Zhangsantook a schoolbag to the dormitory.’
The participants rejected the test sentences with a rate of 89.7%, but accepted the control sentences with a rate of 91.2%.
Focus of this study: kinship nouns in Chinese, which is a typical kind of relational nouns (RNs).
Definition: RNs, in narrow sense, are Nouns which have more than one argument in their lexical meaning. (Barker, 1995; Partee 1987/1997; etc). As a RN, a kinship noun such as father has a lexically inherent extra argument.
[[father]]=[λxλy. father (x, y)]
[[Mary’s father]]= [λxλy. father (x, y)](m) = λy. father (m, y)
Father picks up Mary as one of its arguments.
Q1: Is the implicit argument pronominal or anaphoric? (Experiment 1)
Q2: Is the implicit argument a theta assigned syntactic argument or only a semantic argument?
A related question: is there any syntactic processing involved in the interpretation of kinship nouns? (Experiment 2)
Intuitions are not sharp enough...
Example: “semi-relational” nouns
Zhangsan ride camel to travel
‘Zhangsan travelled on a/his camel.’
Are the “semi-relational” such as pets and other human-owned things the same with kinship nouns?
Achimova, Deprez & Musolino (in press): Controlled experimentation should be underscored as an important tool for theory construction.
Supporting a Syntactic Approach
Now, let me say something about this story. In this story, Zhangsan talked to Lisi about going to Qingdao for a trip. Finally, er……
15 master’s students in linguistics were recruited from BLCU. None of them had participated in Experiment 1.
The same as in Experiment 1.
8 stories (4 test and 4 control sentences) each followed by a test statement.
Typical test item story (in Chinese):
Mickey Mouse and Donald Duckwanted to bring their sons on a trip. However before their departure, Donald Duck got a toothache, and was sent to the hospital. Eventually, Mickey Mouse took Donald Duck’s son but not his own son to the island.