Syntactic structures of Mandarin purposives

Wei-wen Roger Liao 1  and Tzong-hong Jonah Lin 2
  • 1 Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, 128, Section 2, Academia Road, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2 Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Tsing Hua University, 101, Section 2, Guangfu Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan
Wei-wen Roger Liao
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, 128, Section 2, Academia Road, Taipei, 115, Taiwan
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and Tzong-hong Jonah Lin
  • Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Tsing Hua University, 101, Section 2, Guangfu Road, Hsinchu, 300, Taiwan
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Abstract

This paper investigates three constructions in Mandarin, all of which convey a purposive/teleological meaning, including the lai purposive, the hao purposive, and the bare purposive. Despite the fact that each type of purposive clause in Mandarin occurs at the right edge of a sentence, it is argued that none of the purposive clause is a genuine right adjunct in the underlying syntactic structure. On the other hand, our analysis shows that the lai purposive employs complementation of a secondary predicate, the hao purposive involves conjunction of two clauses, and the bare purposive should be analyzed as left adjunction that is stranded in the right edge after verb movement. The evidence for our analysis is drawn from subject and object gaps, the ba-construction in Mandarin, agentivity, and linear ordering of multiple purposive clauses. This work thus demonstrates representative cases where a structure that appears to involve right adjunction may in fact employ no right adjunction at all. The conclusion is thus consistent with the prediction of Linear Correspondence Axiom (LCA).

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