Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1810-7478
  • E-ISSN: 2589-5230



The possessive construction in Mandarin is similar to English prenominal possessives except that maximality is presupposed only for cases involving inherently relational nouns. In this paper, I adopt the hypothesized split of argument and modifier genitives proposed by Partee & Borschev (20012003) and argue that modifier-genitives can occur NP-internally in Mandarin possessives, whose appearance is restricted to cases with non-relational nouns. The discrepancy of the maximality presupposition observed in Mandarin can thus be captured since non-relational nouns can have a split of interpretations between argument and modifier genitives, resulting in a non-maximality reading.

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