Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2665-9336
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9344
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This paper makes remarks on the syntactic status of Gapless Relative Clauses (GRCs) in Mandarin Chinese and shows that the arguments for their complement status are not supported by the facts in Mandarin Chinese, as almost all the arguments for the complement clause analysis of GRCs, as presented in Huang (2016), could be argued to be evidence for the relative clause (RC) analysis of GRCs. The following RC recoverability hierarchy, Argument RC > Adjunct RC > GRC, is proposed to explain the contrasts discussed in Huang (2016) and this paper, and the relevant facts and differences could be accounted for if one assumes that the RCs further to the right in the hierarchy above are more difficult to be recovered than the RCs further to the left in the above hierarchy and should thus occur closer to the head noun. This paper demonstrates that GRCs are really RCs licensed by a covert semantic variable, and suggests that the gapless requirement on complement clauses be replaced by the following two conditions: (a) no syntactic gap or semantic variable exists in the relevant clause that is related to the head noun in question and (b) a semantic condition, to be specified in this paper, is necessary on the relationship between the clause in question and the modified head noun.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Chinese; complement clause; relative clauses; semantics; syntax
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