Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8706
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8714
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We pursue an agreement-based analysis of the bare numeral phrases in Chinese. Bare numeral phrases in Chinese often occur with the marker in the preverbal position. With the marker, a bare numeral phrase obtains an individual-denoting reading, which has an existential meaning. In contrast, several syntactic environments do not need the marker, and the bare numeral phrase obtains the quantity-denoting reading. In addition to the existential marker, we observe that the distributions of the two readings are correlated to the lower (root) modals (Mod) and the middle aspects (Asp). We argue that the correlation can be analyzed through syntactic feature agreement. That is, the bare numeral phrase carries an unvalued quantificational feature in the null D, and its unvalued feature is valued by the corresponding existential marker, Asp, and/or Mod heads through (multiple) agreement. We argue that the proposed feature agreement mechanism can improve upon the (Extended) Mapping Hypothesis (Diesing 1992Tsai 19992001) under the Minimalist Program.


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