Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-8706
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8714
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



In this paper, I focus on the Mandarin spatial preposition (‘at’), which can appear in the VP domain, like other spatial prepositions, but which can also appear in the TP domain, where it’s presence or absence is sensitive to the animacy and definiteness properties of its object. I argue that distribution and behavior in the TP domain is expected if it functions as a differential argument marker triggered by internal topicalization of its object. Implications of the current analysis for the internal structure of spatial PPs are also considered.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Abels, K.
    (2003) Successive Cyclicity, Anti-Locality, and Adposition Stranding. [Unpublished Doctoral dissertation]. University of Connecticut, Storrs.
  2. Bossong, G.
    (1982) Der präpositionale Akkusativ im Sardischen. InO. Winkelmann & M. Braisch (Eds.), Festschrift für Johannes Hubschmid zum 65. Geburtstag (pp.579–599). Francke.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. (1985) Differentielle Objektmarkierung in den neuiranischen Sprachen. Narr.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bowers, J.
    (2002) Transitivity. Linguistic Inquiry, 33(2), 183–224. 10.1162/002438902317406696
    https://doi.org/10.1162/002438902317406696 [Google Scholar]
  5. Croft, W.
    (2003) Typology and universals. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Dabir-Moghaddam, M.
    (1992) On the (in)dependence of syntax and pragmatics: Evidence from the postposition -rā in Persian. InD. Stein (Ed.), Cooperating with written texts: The pragmatics and comprehension of written texts (pp.549–573). Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110881196.549
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110881196.549 [Google Scholar]
  7. Dalrymple, M. & Nikolaeva, I.
    (2011) Objects and information structure. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511993473
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511993473 [Google Scholar]
  8. Djamouri, R., Paul, W., & Whitman, J.
    (2013) Postpositions vs. prepositions in Mandarin Chinese: The articulation of disharmony. InT. Biberauer & M. Sheehan (Eds.), Theoretical approaches to disharmony word order (pp.74–105). Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684359.003.0003
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684359.003.0003 [Google Scholar]
  9. Ernst, T.
    (1988) Chinese postpositions – Again. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 16(2), 219–244.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. (1995) Negation in Mandarin Chinese. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 13(4), 665–707. 10.1007/BF00992855
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992855 [Google Scholar]
  11. Escandell-Vidal, M. V.
    (2009) Differential object marking and topicality: The case of Balearic Catalan. Studies in Language, 33(4), 832–884. 10.1075/sl.33.4.02esc
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.33.4.02esc [Google Scholar]
  12. Gardani, F.
    (2015) Animacy-controlled phenomena in Italo-Romance. Talk given inLinguistisches Kolloquium, Institut für Romanistik, Universität Wien.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Holmberg, A.
    (2016) The Syntax of Yes and No. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Hsu, Y.-Y.
    (2005) The Syntactic Structure and Pedagogical Grammar of Modals in Mandarin Chinese [Unpublished master’s thesis]. National Taiwan Normal University.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Huang, C.-T. J.
    (2010) Lexical decomposition, silent categories, and the localizer phrase. Yuyanxue Luncong, 391, 86–122.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Huang, C.-T. J., Li, Y.-H. A., & Li, Y.
    (2009) The Syntax of Chinese. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139166935
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166935 [Google Scholar]
  17. Iemmolo, G.
    (2010) Topicality and differential object marking. Evidence from Romance and beyond. Studies in Language, 34(2). 239–272. 10.1075/sl.34.2.01iem
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.34.2.01iem [Google Scholar]
  18. Kuo, P.
    (2010) Transitivity and the BA Construction. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics, 8(1), 95–128.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. (2020) Topicality and differential object marking in Mandarin Chinese: Identity and Variety in an array of structures. InA. Bárány & L. Kalin (Eds.), Case, agreement, and their interactions: New Perspectives on differential argument marking, (pp.269–300). De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110666137‑007
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110666137-007 [Google Scholar]
  20. Laca, B.
    (1987) Sobre el uso del acusativo preposicional en español. InC. Pensado (Ed.), El complemento directo preposicional (pp.61–91). Visor. 10.1515/9783110244946.290
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110244946.290 [Google Scholar]
  21. Larson, R. K.
    (1985) Bare-NP adverbs. Linguistic Inquiry161, 595–621.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Li, C. N. & Thompson, S. A.
    (1981) Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar. University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Li, Y.-H. A.
    (1990) Order and Constituency in Mandarin Chinese. Kluwer. 10.1007/978‑94‑009‑1898‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1898-6 [Google Scholar]
  24. (2006) Chinese Ba. InM. Everaert, & H. van Riemsdik (Eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Vol. 1 (pp.374–468). Blackwell. 10.1002/9780470996591.ch12
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470996591.ch12 [Google Scholar]
  25. (2017) Review article of Waltraud Paul’s New Perspectives on Chinese Syntax (2015). Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, 1(1), 1–17.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Liu, F.-H.
    (1998) A clitic analysis of locative particles. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 26(1), 48–70.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Liu, Y., Pan, W. & Gu, W.
    (1996) Modern Chinese Grammar for Teachers of Chinese as a Second Language & Advanced Learners of Modern Chinese. Shita Shu Yuan.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Lobeck, A.
    (1990) Functional heads as proper governors. InJ. Carter, D. Rose-Marie, B. Philip, & T. Sherer (Eds.), Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society201 (pp.348–362). GLSA, University of Massachusetts.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. McCawley, J. D.
    (1992) Justifying part-of-speech assignments in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 20(2), 211–245.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. McGregor, W. B.
    (1998) Optional ergative marking in Gooniyandi revisited: Implications to the theory of marking. Leuvens contributions in linguistics and philology, 87(3–4), 491–571.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. (2006) Focal and optional ergative marking in Warrwa (Kimberley, Western Australia). Lingua, 116(4), 393–423. 10.1016/j.lingua.2005.02.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2005.02.002 [Google Scholar]
  32. Paris, M.-C.
    (1979) Some aspects of the syntax and semantics of the lian…ye/dou construction in Mandarin. Cahiers de linguistique Asie orientale, 5(1), 47–70.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Paul, W.
    (2005) Low IP area and left periphery in Mandarin Chinese. Recherches linguistiques de Vincennes, 331, 111–134. 10.4000/rlv.1303
    https://doi.org/10.4000/rlv.1303 [Google Scholar]
  34. (2015) New Perspectives on Chinese Syntax. De Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110338775
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110338775 [Google Scholar]
  35. Saito, M., & Murasugi, K.
    (1990) N’-deletion in Japanese. InJ. Ormazabal & C. Tenny (Eds.), University of Connecticut Working Papers in Linguistics31 (pp.87–107). Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Saito, M., Lin, T.-H. J. & Murasugi, K.
    (2008) N’-ellipsis and the structure of noun phrases in Chinese and Japanese. Journal of East Asian Linguistics, 171, 247–271. 10.1007/s10831‑008‑9026‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10831-008-9026-8 [Google Scholar]
  37. Seržant, I. A.
    (2016) Nominative case in Baltic in the typological perspective. InA. Holvoet & N. Nau (Eds.), Valency, argument realization and grammatical relations in Baltic (pp.137–198). John Benjamins. 10.1075/vargreb.3.04ser
    https://doi.org/10.1075/vargreb.3.04ser [Google Scholar]
  38. Svenonius, P.
    (2007) Adpositions, particles and the arguments they introduce. InE. Reuland, T. Bhattacharya & G. Spathas (Eds.), Argument Structure (pp.71–110). John Benjamins. 10.1075/la.108.08sve
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.108.08sve [Google Scholar]
  39. Takahashi, H.
    (2020) Cross-Linguistic Variation in the Layered Structure of PP: Evidence from PP Internal NP-Ellipsis. InJ. Garzonio & S. Rossi (Eds.), Variation in P: Comparative Approaches to Adpositional Phrases (pp.191–217). Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oso/9780190931247.003.0008
    https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190931247.003.0008 [Google Scholar]
  40. Tsai, W.-T. D.
    (2015) On the Topography of Chinese Modals. InU. Shlonsky (Ed.), Beyond Functional Sequence (pp.275–294). Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210588.003.0015
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210588.003.0015 [Google Scholar]
  41. Tsao, F.-F.
    (1987) A topic-comment approach to the Ba construction. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 15(1), 1–55.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. van Bergen, G.
    (2006) To ba or not to ba: Differential Object Marking in Chinese [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Radboud University.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. von Heusinger, K. & Kaiser, G. A.
    (2007) Differential object marking and the lexical semantics of verbs in Spanish. InG. A. Kaiser & M. Leonetti (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop “Definiteness, Specificity and Animacy in Ibero-Romance Languages” (pp.83–109). Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. (2011) Affectedness and differential object marking in Spanish. Morphology, 211, 593–617. 10.1007/s11525‑010‑9177‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11525-010-9177-y [Google Scholar]
  45. Witzlack-Makarevich, A. & Seržant, I. A.
    (2018) Differential argument marking: Patterns of variation. InI. A. Seržant & A. Witzlack-Makarevich (Eds.), Diachrony of differential argument marking (pp.1–40). Language Science Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Wu, H.-H. I.
    (2015) The Fine structure of Spatial PPs in Mandarin Chinese. InW.-T. D. Tsai (Ed.), The Cartography of Chinese Syntax, The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 11 (pp.209–234). Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210687.003.0007
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210687.003.0007 [Google Scholar]
  47. Yang, N., & van Bergen, G.
    (2007) Scrambled objects and case marking in Mandarin Chinese. Lingua, 117(9), 1617–1653. 10.1016/j.lingua.2006.06.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2006.06.009 [Google Scholar]
  48. Zhang, N. N.
    (2002) Movement within a spatial phrase. InH. Cuyckens & G. Radden (Eds.), Perspectives on Prepositions, Linguisticsche Arbeiten, Band4541 (pp.47–63). Niemeyer. 10.1515/9783110924787.47
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110924787.47 [Google Scholar]
  49. (2017) Adpositions. InR. Sybesma, W. Behr, Y. Gu, Z. Handel, C.-T. J. Huang, & J. Myers (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, Vol. 1 (pp.116–122). Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Zou, K.
    (1995) The syntax of the Chinese ba-construction and verb compounds: a morpho-syntactic analysis [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of South California.

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): differential argument marking; localizer; preposition; TP domain; VP domain
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