Adjectives in Mandarin Chinese

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The present paper examines the syntax and semantics of adjectives in Mandarin Chinese and argues that adjectives have to be recognized as a separate part of speech in Mandarin. I show that adnominal adjectives introduced by <i>de</i> should not be analysed as reduced relative clauses or small clauses, since adjectives that cannot be used predicatively can be used adnominally in conjunction with <i>de</i>. For adjectives in direct juxtaposition with the noun, evidence from N-subdeletion and multiple adjective ordering shows that the [A N] sequence has to be analysed as a noun phrase, not as a compound. Accordingly, both types of modification strucures, &#8216;A <i>de</i> N&#8217; and &#8216;A N&#8217; need to be taken into account by typological studies. Finally I provide evidence for the existence of two morphologically different classes of adjectives with distinct semantic and syntactic properties, i.e. &#8216;simple&#8217; adjectives and &#8216;derived&#8217; adjectives.


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