The Syntax and Semantics of Chinese Equatives
|摘要:||本篇論文主要探討中文的”一樣”和”不一樣”的句法語意特質，並進一步探討三種比較句(由這兩個詞彙所核心構成(headed))的句法語意特性。這三種比較句分別為程度平比句(scalar (un-)equatives)、像似比較句(similarity comparatives)及相同比較句(identity comparatives)。首先，我們提供了許多證據，例如句法刪略(ellipsis)、問句助詞的語意範域(scope of question particle)及結構歧義性(structural ambiguity)等，證明中文的”(不)一樣”在句法分布上的確可以擔任程度副詞和形容詞(謂語)。再來，我們提出中文的”跟”以及”和”在比較句中做為介紹比較標準的比較標記(comparative marker)時，其詞性為介係詞。關於程度比較句，我們提出此類比較句是由程度副詞的”(不)一樣”所核心構成。程度副詞的”(不)一樣”在語意上會引介出程度序列關係(ordering relation)，從這個角度來說，程度副詞的”(不)一樣”在中文程度比較句中所擔任的句法及語意工作跟more在英文的程度比較句中所擔任的非常相似，除了詞彙本身所引介的程度序列關係不同。另外，我們提出中文的”(不)一樣”和英文中的same及different相同，均呈現了詞彙歧義性(lexical ambiguity)，英文的部份請參考Alrenga (2007)。進一步說，”(不)一樣”在中文同時具有”像似語意(similarity reading)”以及”相同”語意(identity reading)。我們針對”(不)一樣”的歧義性，進行句法和語意上的研究。一方面，我們提出像似形容詞”一樣”可以帶一個控制結構的補語子句，然而像似形容詞”不一樣”卻不行。我們進一步提出，如果把”一樣”所帶的補語子句看作是像似比較句中的衡量詞組(measure phrase)，這個句法不對稱則可以歸因於”一樣”和”不一樣”引介的區間性質(interval nature)不同，而非單純詞彙表現的任意性(idiosyncrasy of lexicons)。另一方面，我們提出中文的像似比較句及相同比較句分別由”(不)一樣”的兩種詞項所核心構成。進一步說，我們認為”(不)一樣”不僅是這兩種比較句在語法語意上的核心成分，同時表現也像程度謂語一樣，決定了一個在相關量級(scale)上正向或負向的區間。這樣的分析也幫助我們見到了—―—那些具有比較語意的程度形容詞(comparative-like gradable adjectives)更深一層的本質。|
This thesis explores both syntax and semantics of yiyang ’same’, buyiyang ‘different’ and three types of comparative constructions (i.e. scalar (un-)equatives, similarity comparatives and identity comparatives) headed by them in Mandarin. In the first place, we present several pieces of evidence (e.g. ellipsis, the scope of question particle and structural ambiguity) for a necessary distinction between two different uses of yiyang and buyiyang, namely, degree adverbs and adjectival predicates. Secondly, we argue that the comparative marker gen/ he, which introduces the comparative standard, is prepositional in these three types of comparatives. This in turn suggests an adjunction analysis for the structural configuration of comparatives (e.g. Liu 1996, Kennedy 1999, Lin 2009). Regarding scalar (un-)equatives, we propose that they are both syntactically and semantically headed by degree adverbs yiyang and buyiyang. Seen in this way, yiyang and buyiyang resemble the English degree morpheme more in two respects. First, all of them are the head of comparatives. Second, all of them are degree morphemes introducing an ordering relation between individuals with respect to possessing some gradable property. Turning to similarity comparatives, we first propose that yiyang and buyiyang, resembling their counterparts same and different in English, are lexically ambiguous between similarity and identity readings in Mandarin. Regarding the syntax of similarity predicates, we propose that yiyang (but not buyiyang) syntactically combines with a clause which is complement in nature, since the extraction of elements from it does not render island effects (i.e. CED effects in the sense of Huang 1982). Further, this complement clause functionally serves as a further specification of the dimension of similarity. For another, by relating dimensions of similarity to degrees of similarity, we propose that the complement clause can be considered as measure phrases in similarity comparatives. Seen in this light, dubbed with Alrenga’s (2007) insight that comparative adjectives such as different and like determine positive and negative intervals of a scale (i.e. similarity), we suggest that the syntactic asymmetry between yiyang and buyiyang can not be attributed to the idiosyncrasy of lexicons; rather, it is better considered as a reflex of the deeper syntax-semantics of measure phrases and the interval nature of buyiyang. Concerning the semantics of similarity predicates, we argue against Alrenga ’s (2007) treatment of similarity same and different as a pair of total/partial adjectives; rather, we suggest that the two pairs of adjectives same/ different and yiyang/ buyiyang be better considered as the adjectives with totally closed scale (e.g. full/ empty, open/ closed), rather than the adjectives with partially closed scale (e.g. dry/ wet, straight/ bent) (see Rotstein & Winter 2004, Kennedy & McNally 2005). Finally, we present a syntax-semantics analysis of similarity yiyang/ buyiyang and similarity comparatives in Mandarin. In particular, we propose that similarity comparatives are both syntactically and semantically headed by similarity predicates yiyang and buyiyang. As for identity comparatives, we point out two potential problems for Alrenga’s (2007) semantic analysis of identity same and different. The first problem is an empirical one, concerning the combination of same and proportion modifiers such as almost and completely. The second one is theoretical in nature, concerning the postulation of an abstract measure phrase. Given these considerations, I propose a syntax-semantics analysis of identity yiyang/ buyiyang and identity comparatives in Mandarin. Specifically, following Alrenga’s conception that individual identity itself constitutes as the dimension of comparison in identity comparatives, I propose that identity predicates yiyang and buyiyang not only syntactically and semantically head identity comparatives, but also determine positive and negative intervals of a scale (i.e. cardinality). Importantly, our analysis requires yiyang to return a positive interval on the relevant scale, and this move leaves room for how proportion adverbs semantically contribute to identity comparatives. Obviously, our analysis thus fares better than Alrenga’s with respect to the empirical problem. However, with respect to the theoretical problem, our analysis suffers the same pain as Alrenga’s does, since both analyses have to postulate an abstract measure phrase and the truth value of a comparative sentence relies on the combination of such degree morphemes. Last but not the least, our analysis of similarity and identity comparatives sheds light on the nature of those comparative-like gradable adjectives such as yiyang and buyiyang. More specifically, yiyang and buyiyang not only serve as the head of comparatives (i.e. similarity and identity), but also resemble gradable adjectives in determining an interval on the relevant scale (i.e. similarity and cardinality).
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