Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-8706
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8714
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This paper aims to develop the empirical and theoretical basis for the necessity of motivating a cartographic approach (Rizzi 1997Cinque 1999) to the clausal structure of nonsententials (NSs) in Mandarin. Especially noteworthy about NSs is that they are able to encode clause type information, illocutionary force and the discourse roles and /, though their structure is considerably reduced. Following the line of reasoning in Sigurðsson & Maling (2012) and Tsai (2015a2015b), I show that NSs have a fully-fledged CP structure, according to the effects exerted upon their interpretation. Adopting Haegeman’s (2014) sa*P analysis of the discourse particle in West Flemish, I argue that NSs contain a suprasentential structure, a Speech Act layer, dominating ForceP and responsible for the encoding of the / relation sensitive to the immediate context. Crucially, it is argued that the discourse properties surrounding NSs pertain to the articulated CP structure of NSs. The major consequence of the proposed analysis is to show that the theory of discourse is closely tied to the architecture of grammar in general, adding weight to the view that the transparent syntax-discourse mapping results from a set of functional projections layered in the CP periphery.


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