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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 28, Issue 4 (Jan 2011)


Neg-to-Q: The historical origin and development of question particles in Chinese

Edith Aldridge
Published Online: 2011-11-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2011.012


This paper proposes a diachronic analysis of the grammaticalization of a marker of negation into a yes/no question particle in Chinese. I propose that the input to the reanalysis was a vP-neg-vP disjunctive question in which the second vP was projected by a negative auxiliary. Head movement of this auxiliary to the head of an immediately dominating disjunction phrase allowed the negator to enter into an Agree relation with interrogative C and check the [Q] feature there. In time, the negator acquired the [uQ] feature originally on the disjunction. This allowed the negator to subsequently be base merged in C and function as a Q particle.

About the article

Published Online: 2011-11-03

Published in Print: 2011-11-01

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2011.012.

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