LINGUIST List 9.1758

Thu Dec 10 1998

Qs: Syntax, Eng. possessives, Chinese constructions

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  1. ressy, Syntax of Wh-words
  2. Takae Tsujioka, English possessives & relatives
  3. gdufs_cecilia_liu, Chinese constructions

Message 1: Syntax of Wh-words

Date: 11 Dec 1998 11:05:38 -0000
From: ressy <>
Subject: Syntax of Wh-words

Dear person(s),

I am doing research in the sub-word level syntax of Wh-words and the
fuctional head C and their relationship. As far as I know, Dylan Tsai
has touched this domain. But I am not sure whether you know somebody
else who has also touched this ground. If you have any information, just
let me know. Your help will be greatly honored.

Thanks for your information.
Ressy Y. Ares
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Message 2: English possessives & relatives

Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 22:35:21 -0500 (EST)
From: Takae Tsujioka <>
Subject: English possessives & relatives

Dear LINGUIST subscribers:

I am working on the syntax of possession across languages as my
dissertation topic, and have encountered some intriguing patterns in
English. That is, when possessive phrases are present, there seems to
be a strong tendency among native speakers of English to reject
"that-less" or "zero" relatives.

(1) a. the computer, which John bought last week
 b. the computer that John bought last week
 c. the computer John bought last week

(2) a. John's computer, which he bought last week
 b. John's computer that he bought last week
 c. */? John's computer he bought last week


(3) a. John's sister, who(m) Mary likes
 b. John's sister that Mary likes
 c. */? John's sister Mary likes

As far as I can see, this is problematic for (what I take it to be) a
standard view that "the computer that John bought.." and "the computer
John bought.." differ only in that the latter has a null C. Also, it
seems to have some implications for the structure of possessives
and/or relatives in relation to Kayne (1994)'s analyses. Since I am
not aware of the literature which dealt with this problem, I would be
grateful if someone can help me find out if anyone discovered this and
gave an analysis. If you know of any related patterns in English or in
other languages, I would be very interested in hearing about it, too.

I will post a summary if there is enough interest.

Thank you very much in advance!

Takae Tsujioka

Takae Tsujioka
Graduate Fellow in Theoretical Linguistics
Georgetown University
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Message 3: Chinese constructions

Date: 11 Dec 1998 11:56:12 -0000
From: gdufs_cecilia_liu <>
Subject: Chinese constructions

Dear persons,

I'm studying A-not-A constructions in Chinese. Do you have any idea
about this topic? It seems not many people are doing study on this. I
find it hard to get materials on this topic. Please help me.

Wish you a good day.
Liu Ya
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