Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-8706
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8714
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Based on her conception that the subject is the least droppable NP in a clause, and that object position is generated only because the thematic structure of the predicator requires it, Rothstein (1995, 2001, 2006) proposes a structural theory of predication whereby predication is a syntactic relation which is independent of theta–role assignment holding between a predicate and its subject. Based on this theory, she goes as far as to claim that “there can be no such thing as an object pleonastic”. This article provides evidence from Mandarin and some Chinese dialects, showing that there is a third person singular pronoun that can occur as expletive in object positions. It is argued on empirical grounds that a structural theory of predication such as Rothstein’s, which rests upon parsimonious English data, still faces the challenge faced by the Principle of Projection.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): object expletive; predication; principle of projection; subcategorization
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