Architecture of the Periphery in Chinese: Cartography and Minimalism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Architecture of the Periphery in Chinese

Cartography and Minimalism, 1st Edition

By Victor Junnan Pan


228 pages

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pub: 2019-01-30
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Architecture of the Periphery in Chinese offers a comprehensive survey on the fine structure of the sentence peripheral domain in Mandarin Chinese from a cartographic perspective. Different functional projections hosting sentence-final particles, implicit operators and other informational components are hierarchically ordered according to the "Subjectivity Scale Constraint" functioning at syntax-discourse interface. Three questions will be essentially addressed: What is the order? How to determine such an order? Why such an order? This research not only gives a thorough examination of the peripheral elements in Chinese but also improves the general understanding of the ordering issue in the left-periphery crosslinguistically. This book is aimed at scholars interested in Chinese syntax or generative syntax.

Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Cartography

1.2 Previous studies on the Chinese left-periphery

1.3 Organization of the argumentation

Chapter 2 Core projections

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Sentential aspects: S.AspP

2.2.1 TP-internal aspectual marking

2.2.2 TP-external sentential aspectual marking Le Laizhe1 Ne

2.2.3 Spoken Mandarin and regional variations Guo Zai

2.2.4 Summary

2.2.5 Low scope of S.AspP particles? Wh-subject Alternative question with a disjunctive operator Negation

2.3 Sentential exclusive focus: OnlyP

2.3.1 Eryi ‘only’

2.3.2 S.AspP < OnlyP

2.3.3 Low scope of OnlyP particles? Subject Alternative question with a disjunctive operator Negation

2.4 Illocutionary force: iForceP

2.4.1 Ma

2.4.2 Ba1

2.4.3 Meiyou ‘not.have’

2.4.4 Ba2

2.4.5 Null Op-operator for wh-questions

2.4.6 Co-occurrence with other projections

2.5 Special questions: SQP

2.5.1 Rhetorical questions: RheQP RheQP > iForceP RheQP > iForceP > OnlyP RheQP > iForceP > S.AspP RheQP > iForceP > OnlyP > S.AspP

2.5.2 Negative wh-questions: NegQP

2.5.3 Comparison

2.6 AttP (Speaker’s attitude)

2.6.1 Particles

2.6.2 Hierarchy

2.6.3 About ne < ba

2.6.4 About zhe < ne

2.7 Conclusion


Chapter 3 Embeddability and subjectivity

3.1 Introduction

3.2 S.AspP

3.3 OnlyP

3.4 iForceP

3.5 SQP

3.6 AttP

3.7 Conclusion

Chapter 4 Optional projections

4.1 Introduction

4.2 TopicP

4.2.1 Topic in Chinese

4.2.2 Labeling issue

4.2.3 Sentence-final particles and topic markers

4.2.4 An SFP-based analysis

4.2.5 Embeddability of SFPs

4.3 Ex-situ cleft FocusP

4.3.1 Existing views on ex-situ cleft-focus structures

4.3.2 Pan’s (2017a) analysis

4.3.3 Evidence for a non-movement approach

4.3.4 A pro-based analysis of ex-situ cleft-focus structures

4.3.5 Advantages of the pro-based analysis

4.3.6 Differences between cleft-focus structures and topic structures

4.3.7 Deriving the exhaustivity

4.4 A possible extension to lian ‘even’…dou ‘all’ structure

4.5 Syntactic hierarchy

4.6 Embeddability

4.7 Conclusion


Chapter 5 Concluding remarks

5.1 WHAT and HOW?

5.2 WHY?

5.3 Derive the cartography in the framework of the Minimalist Program

5.3.1 Disjunction-based analyses

5.3.2 Comp-to-Spec raising analyses

5.3.3 Advantage of the raising analysis over con(/dis)junction-based analyses



About the Author

Victor Junnan Pan is a professor of theoretical linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages in The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He worked previously as an associate professor with Habilitation in the University Paris Diderot-Paris 7. He has also been a junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France since 2017. He has published five research monographs in both English and French. Specializing in generative syntax, his research covers Chinese syntax, French syntax, syntax-semantics-discourse interface and others, and the topics he has investigated include interrogatives, quantification in formal linguistics, information structure, left-periphery, cartography, resumptivity, A'-dependency, locality and the Minimalist Program.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Chinese Linguistics

Routledge Studies in Chinese Linguistics is a state-of-the-art book series showcasing high quality research on the linguistics of the Chinese language. Titles in the series range from seminal classics to cutting edge studies in the field, and comprise both research monographs and edited volumes.

Contributions are welcomed from all areas of linguistic study applied to the Chinese language, including but not limited to phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, stylistics, sociolinguistics, language and communication, historical linguistics, dialectology, language acquisition, language pedagogy, corpus linguistics, bilingualism and Chinese for specific purposes, etc.

Published in English, titles in the series will be of great interest to postgraduate students and scholars in the fields of Chinese language and linguistics.

If you have a book proposal or idea in mind that might be suitable for the series, please contact the series editor Hongming Zhang of the University of Wisconsin-Madison ( For more information on submitting a proposal to Routledge, please visit

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