Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2665-9336
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9344
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This paper delineates an alternative analysis of the property concepts of ‘have’ in Taiwan Southern Min, claiming that the complements serve syntactically as the nominal gradabilities through three syntactic (constituency) tests, and supported by a crosslinguistic perspective. Additionally, in the vein of Distributed Morphology, the gradability functions as an P (also as a nominalization), in contrast with NP/DP. From a typological perspective, it is not peculiar for to select a nominalization of property concept to signal a reading of property-denoting. Moreover, I illustrate the semantics of a possessive property concept construction in Taiwan Southern Min, according to Francez and Koontz-Garboden (20152017). I further propose a modal aspectual semantics to interpret the various temporal readings of . Finally, I draw a conclusion to my alternative analyses.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Adger, D.
    (2003) Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Aldridge, E.
    (2016) Nominalization of embedded clauses in late Archaic Chinese, presented at ISACG-9, Humboldt University, Berlin.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Alexiadou, A.
    (2001) Functional Structure in Nominals. John Benjamins. 10.1075/la.42
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.42 [Google Scholar]
  4. Badan, L. & del Gobbo, F.
    (2010) On the syntax of topic and focus in Chinese. In Benica & Munaro (eds.), Mapping the Left Periphery, 63–90. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bierwisch, M.
    (1990) Event nominalization: proposal and problem. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 40 (1/2), 19–84.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bohnemeyer, J. & Swift, M.
    (2001) Default aspect: the semantic interaction of aspectual viewpoint and telicity. Proceedings of Perspectives on Aspect. Utrecht: Institute of Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (2004) Event realization and default aspect. Linguistics and philosophy 27 (3), 263–296. doi:  10.1023/B:LING.0000023371.15460.43
    https://doi.org/10.1023/B:LING.0000023371.15460.43 [Google Scholar]
  8. Booij, G.
    (2007) The Grammar of Words: An introduction to Linguistic Morphology. Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226245.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226245.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  9. Chang, C.
    (1998) The Notes on Taiwan Southern Min Language. Taipei: Wen-Shi-Zhe Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Chen, Q. & Wang, J.
    (2010) The analysis on the multiple functions of Southern Dialect HAVE. Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies 4 , 47–55.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Chen, Y.
    (2010) Degree Modifications and Boundedness of Adjectives in Mandarin. MA Thesis. Taiwan: National Chung Cheng University.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Cheng, C.
    (2019) Gradability of possessive property concepts and its interaction with the degree words in Mandarin Chinese, presented atIACL-27, 2019, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Cheng, R.
    (1979) Taiwanese u and Mandarin you. InPapers from the 1979 Asian and Pacific Conference on Lingusitics and Language Teaching, 141–180.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. (1980) Modality in Taiwanese. Taiwan: Taiwan Student Bookstore Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Chomsky, N.
    (1965) Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. (1977) On wh-movement. In P. W. Culicover , T. Wasow and A. Akmajian (eds.), Formal syntax, 71–132. San Diego, CA: Academic Press
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Crystal, D.
    (2008) A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics (6th ed). Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 10.1002/9781444302776
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444302776 [Google Scholar]
  18. Ding, J.
    (2008) HAVE constructions in Xiangtan language. Journal of Xiang-Nan University 29 (6), 75–79.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Dixon, R.
    (1982) Where Have All the Adjectives Gone? And Other Essays in Semantics and Syntax. The Hague: Mouton. 10.1515/9783110822939
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110822939 [Google Scholar]
  20. Embick, D. & Noyer, R.
    (2006) Distributed Morphology and the Syntax-Morphology interface. In G. Ramchand and C. Reiss (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Interfaces, 289–324. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:  10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199247455.013.0010
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199247455.013.0010 [Google Scholar]
  21. Embick, D. & Marantz, A.
    (2008) Architecture and blocking. Linguistics Inquiry 38 (1), 1–53. doi:  10.1162/ling.2008.39.1.1
    https://doi.org/10.1162/ling.2008.39.1.1 [Google Scholar]
  22. Fillmore, C. J.
    (1968) The case for case. In E. Bach and R. T. Harms (eds.), Universals in linguistic theory, 1–88. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Francez, I. & Koontz-Garboden, A.
    (2015) Semantic variation and the grammar of property concepts. Language 91 (3), 533–563. doi:  10.1353/lan.2015.0047
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2015.0047 [Google Scholar]
  24. (2017) Semantics and Morphosyntactic Variation: Qualities and the Grammar of Property Concepts. Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744580.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744580.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  25. Halle, M.
    (1990) An approach to Morphology. Proceedings of the North East Linguistics Society 20 (11). Amherst: GLSA University of Massachusetts, 150–184.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (1997) Distributed Morphology: impoverishment and fission. In M. Halle , B. Bruening , Y. Kang and M. McGinnis (eds.), PF: Papers at the Interface MITWPL 30 , 423–449. doi:  10.1075/cilt.202.07hal
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.202.07hal [Google Scholar]
  27. Halle, M. & Marantz, A.
    (1993) Distributed Morphology and the pieces of inflection. In K. Hale and S. J. Keyser (eds), the View from Building 20: Essays in Linguistics in honor of Sylvain Brombergerin. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. (1994) Some key features of Distributed Morphology. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 21 , 275–288.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Harley, H. & Noyer, R.
    (2003) State-of-the Article: Distributed Morphology. In L. Cheng and R. Sybesma (eds.), The Second Glot State-of-the-Article Book: The Latest in Linguistics, 463–495. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Harley, H.
    (2015) The Syntax/Morphology interface. In T. Kiss and A. Alexiadou (eds.), Syntax, Theory and Analysis: An International Handbook (vol.2), 1128–1154. Boston, MA: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110363708‑010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110363708-010 [Google Scholar]
  31. (2019) 5 Semantics in Distributed Morphology. In K. Heusinger , P. Portner and C. Maienborn (eds.), Semantics-Interfaces, 143–168. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110589849‑005
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110589849-005 [Google Scholar]
  32. Hu, Y. & Fan, X.
    (1994) The nominalizations of verbs and adjectives. Zhongguo Yuwen2, 81–85.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Huang, J.
    (1988) Shuo Shi He You [On ‘Be’ and ‘Have’ in Chinese]. InBulletin of the Institute of History and Philology 59 , 43–64. Taiwan: Academia Sinica Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Huang, J. , Li, A. & Li, Y.
    (2009) The Syntax of Chinese. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139166935
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166935 [Google Scholar]
  35. Huang, C.
    (2000) The existential verbs in Qiang. Minority Languages of China4, 13–22.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Hung, Y.
    (2012) Negation in Naturally Occurring Taiwan Sign Language. MA Thesis. Taiwan: National Chung Cheng University.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Jaggar, P.
    (2001) Hausa. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/loall.7
    https://doi.org/10.1075/loall.7 [Google Scholar]
  38. Kennedy, C.
    (2007) Vagueness and grammar: the Semantics of relative and absolute gradable adjectives. Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1), 1–45. doi:  10.1007/s10988‑006‑9008‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10988-006-9008-0 [Google Scholar]
  39. Kho, K. T.
    (1998) An Introduction to Taiwanese. Taiwan: Qianwei Publishing Company Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. (2000) Introduction to Taiwanese. Taiwan: Avanguard Publishing Company Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Kratzer, A.
    (1981) The notional category of modality. In H. Eikmeyer and H. Reiser (eds.), Words, Worlds and Context, 38–74. Berlin: Walter de Cruyter. 10.1515/9783110842524‑004
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110842524-004 [Google Scholar]
  42. (1991) Modality. In A. von Stechow and D. Wunderlich (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Contemporary Research, 639–650. Berlin: Walter de Cruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Li, A.
    (2012) de in Mandarin ↔ e in Taiwanese. Studies in Chinese Linguistics 33 (1), 17–40.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Li, C. & Thompson, S.
    (1976) Subject and topic: a new typology of languages. In C. Li (ed.), Subject and Topic, 459–489.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. (1981) Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Li, R.
    (1986) Southern Min Ū ‘HAVE’ and BÔ ‘NOT’. Studies of Fu-Jian Normal University 2 , 76–83.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. (1998) The Dictionary of Changsha Dialect. China: Jiangsu Educational Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Lien, C.
    (2009) Middles in Taiwanese Southern Min: The interface of lexical meaning and event structure. Lingua 120 , 1273–1287. doi:  10.1016/j.lingua.2009.08.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2009.08.003 [Google Scholar]
  49. Lin, J.
    (2003) Temporal reference in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 12 , 259–311. doi:  10.1023/A:1023665301095
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023665301095 [Google Scholar]
  50. Lin, J. & Tang, J.
    (1995) Modals as verbs in Chinese: a GB perspective. The Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology66: 53–105.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Lin, P.
    (2015) Taiwanese Grammar: A Concise Reference. Greenhorn Media.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Lu, J.
    (2013) The Research Course of Modern Chinese Grammar [Xiandai Hanyu Yufa Yanjiu Jiaocheng]. Peking University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Lv, S.
    (2004 [1995]) About some problems of Chinese syntactic categories [Guanyu hanyu cilei de yixie yuanzexing wenti]. The collections of Lv Shu-Xian Vol 2 [Lvshuxiang wenji volume 2]. The Commercial Published.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Maienborn, C.
    (2019) Events and states. In R. Truswell (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Event Structure, 24–65. Oxford University Press. doi:  10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199685318.013.6
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199685318.013.6 [Google Scholar]
  55. Marques, R.
    (2009) On the selection of mood in complement clauses. In L. Hogeweg , H. de Hoop and A. Malchukov (eds.), Cross-linguistic Semantics of Tense, Aspect and Modality. London: John Benjamins. doi:  10.1075/la.148.08mar
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.148.08mar [Google Scholar]
  56. Moltmann, F.
    (2019) Nominals and event structure. In R. Truswell (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Event Structure, 1–34. Oxford University Press. doi:  10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199685318.013.21
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199685318.013.21 [Google Scholar]
  57. (2020) Nominalizations: The case of nominalizations of modal predicates. In D. Gutzmann , L. Matthewson , C. Meier , H. Rullmann and T. E. Zimmerman (eds), The Companion to Semantics, 1–23. Wiley Publication. doi:  10.1002/9781118788516.sem086
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118788516.sem086 [Google Scholar]
  58. Moulton, K.
    (2014) Simple event nominalizations: roots and their interpretation. In I. Paul (ed), Cross-linguistic Investigations of Nominalization Patterns, 119–144. John Benjamins. doi:  10.1075/la.210.05mou
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.210.05mou [Google Scholar]
  59. Newman, P.
    (2000) The Hausa Language: An Encyclopedic reference grammar. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Osborne, T.
    (2018) Tests for constituents: What they really reveal about the nature of syntactic structure. Language Under Discussion5(1), 1–41. doi:  10.31885/lud.5.1.223
    https://doi.org/10.31885/lud.5.1.223 [Google Scholar]
  61. Radford, A.
    (1997) Syntactic Theory and the Structure of English: A Minimalist Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139166706
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166706 [Google Scholar]
  62. Shen, J.
    (2015) The subjectivity of Chinese syntactic categories. Foreign Language Teaching and Research47(5), 643–658.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Shi, D.
    (2000) Topic and topic-comment constructions in Mandarin Chinese. Language76(2), 383–408. doi:  10.1353/lan.2000.0070
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2000.0070 [Google Scholar]
  64. Shyu, S.
    (2014) Topic and focus. In J. Huang , A. Li and A. Simpson (eds.), The Handbook of Chinese Linguistics, 100–125. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. doi:  10.1002/9781118584552.ch5
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118584552.ch5 [Google Scholar]
  65. Tsai, D.
    (2002)  You ‘have’ in Taiwan Mandarin and Dialects – On the social and historical aspects of grammatical theories. Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Studies 32 (2), 495–528.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Tsao, F.
    (1996) Minna de Zhuyuzhuti he Zhutichuan [Taiwanese subject, topic and topic chain]. In Z. Dong (ed.), The Notes of Taiwanese Teaching of ‘An Introduction of Taiwanese’. Taiwan: Taiwan Languages and Literature Society Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  67. (1998) On three aspect-related morpheme ‘U’, ‘∅’, ‘A’ in Taiwanese Minnan. Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Studies 28 (3), 299–334.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Tsao, F. & Cheng, Y.
    (1995) On Taiwan Southern Min HAVE and the related Issues. Studies in Chinese Linguistics 11 , 155–167.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Wu, J. & Zheng, Z.
    (2018) Toward a unified semantics for Ū in Ū + situation in Taiwan Southern Min: A modal-aspectual account. In J. F. Hong , Q. Su and J. S. Wu (eds), Chinese Lexical Semantics Workshop, CLSW 2018, 408–422. Springer. doi:  10.1007/978‑3‑030‑04015‑4_34
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-04015-4_34 [Google Scholar]
  70. Wurmbrand, S.
    (1999) Modal verbs must be raising verbs. In S. Bird , A. Carnie , J. Haugen and P. Norquest (eds), WCCFL 18 Proceedings, 599–612.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Yang, X.
    (1991) Grammar on Taiwan Southern Min. Taipei: Da-An Publishing Company Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Zhang, N.
    (2006) On the configuration issue of coordination. Language and Linguistics7 (1): 175–223.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. (2007) On the categorical issue of coordination. Lingua et Linguistica1 (1): 7–46.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. (2010) Coordination in Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. (2015) Functional head properties of the degree word Hen in Mandarin Chinese. Lingua 153 , 14–41. doi:  10.1016/j.lingua.2014.10.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2014.10.005 [Google Scholar]
  76. (2016) Understanding s-selection. Studies in Chinese Linguistics 37 (1), 56–73. doi:  10.1515/scl‑2016‑0003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/scl-2016-0003 [Google Scholar]
  77. Zheng, Z.
    (2014) Taiwan Southern Min Ū in adjectival predicate constructions: A cross-linguistic perspective. Presented at the22nd Annual Conference of the IACL & the 26th NACCL, University of Maryland, USA.
    [Google Scholar]
  78. (2015) Revisiting Taiwan Southern Min Ū ‘HAVE’ and its gradable complements. MA Thesis. Taiwan: National Chung Cheng University.
    [Google Scholar]
  79. Zhu, D. , Lu, J. & Ma, Z.
    (1961) The issue of the nominalization of verbs and adjectives. Journal of Peking University4, 51–64.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): gradability; modal-aspectual; nominalization; possessive construction; property concept
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error