This book presents a study of elliptical predicate constructions in
Mandarin Chinese (MC). Four types of VP ellipsis have been investigated
across languages. They are: (a) VPE in disguise (alternatively known as
V-Stranding VPE); (b) English-like VPE (vPE); (c) Antecedent Contained
Deletion (ACD) and (d) Pseudo-Gapping (PG). It is shown that the
distribution of these types of VPE constructions is quite impoverished in
MC. For VPE in disguise or V-Stranding VPE, its distribution can only be
detected when the object is [-animate], with the possibility of relating it
to a context called strong pragmatic control.
For English-like VPE (vPE), it is argued that shi ('be')-supported
construction is not an instance of vPE. Instead, it is an instance of deep
anaphora, in the sense of Sag (1976a), and Hankamer and Sag (1976). Genuine
vPE constructions in MC, however, do exist and they are licensed by a
particular kind of modals, which can be (sometimes) combined with certain
negative morphemes. This particular kind of modals refers to those that can
indicate (epistemic or deontic) possibility. Modals indicating (epistemic
or deontic) necessity, on the other hand, cannot license vPE in MC. ACD
constructions are also limited in MC due to: (a) the limited distribution
of VPE constructions in MC; (b) the limited process of relativization and
(c) the peculiar Lfreconstruction of the ellipsis site. PG is impossible in
MC because the syntactic machinery that can derive them is not available.
The study of elliptical predicate constructions in MC supports a mixed
approach in analyzing (VP) ellipsis. That is, we need both the PF-deletion
approach and the interpretive (or the LF-reconstruction/copying) approach.
The identity condition for VPE constructions is argued to be LF-structural
identity of predicates.