Explicating wh-fronting in Mandarin: A scrambling approach

Yaobin Liu


This paper proposes an alternative approach to wh-fronting in Mandarin by analyzing it as a type of regional scrambling. Three main arguments are presented, including the semantic vacuousness of Mandarin wh-fronting, its mixed syntactic properties, and the theoretical plausibility of scrambling in a non-scrambling language. This approach departs from previous treatments in dispensing with stipulation of an explicit uniform driving force for the movement and permits structural alternation without significant meaning changes.


wh-fronting; scrambling; optionality; wh-in-situ languages

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4553

Copyright (c) 2019 Yaobin Liu

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