Volume 23, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



The paper explores the formation and constraint of an aspect of scalar structure in Taiwanese Southern Min (TSM). The scale structure as we understand it is realized as a relation between the degree adverb and the gradable predicates it selects. The gradable predicate that the degree adverb selects must bear the feature of degree. There are two approaches to compose the degree adverb and the gradable predicates it modifies: (1) the top-down construal and (2) the bottom-up construal. The first approach is simple and straightforward and applicable in most cases. However, there will be difficulties when the immediate modified element is an ambivalent element. A way out of the dilemma is the second approach. We give a unitary account of 7-headed VP constructions in terms of the bottom-up approach, and if viable, it attains a measure of economy. This study also touches on the parametric variations in TSM vis-à-vis Mandarin in the patterns of degree expressions. Such variations in the degree expressions have some implications in the studies of Sinitic languages as well as language universals.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): constraints; formation; scalar structure; Taiwanese
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