Resumptive Pronouns in Chinese Passives

Ting Xu


This paper accounts for the following puzzle: In Chinese long passives resumptive pronouns are allowed as long as the predicate under bei is modified by a post-verbal modifier. This follows from Huang’s (1999) analysis that Chinese long passives involve null operator movement. Surprisingly, resumptive pronouns cannot be licensed if the predicate under bei is bare. I argue that this exception follows from a PF constraint: Resumptive pronouns cannot occur in a position which receives stress. Without a postverbal modifier of the predicate, the neutral stress automatically falls on the resumptive pronoun, which violates the PF constraint.

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