The structure of Mandarin embedded and matrix sluicing


  • Jiayuan Chen Rutgers University



sluicing, pseudo-sluicing, topicalization, cleft focus, sentence-final particles, dou, idiomatic reconstruction, copular structure


In Mandarin sluicing, the copula shi may precede the wh-phrase and it’s sometimes optional. Most existing analyses agree that Mandarin embedded sluicing with shi is an instance of pseudo-sluicing with an underlying copular structure. However, different analyses disagree on exactly when shi can be absent in Mandarin sluicing and by extension, the underlying structure of sluicing without shi. Many existing analyses assume that shi can be absent in embedded sluicing when the wh-phrase is complex. This study presents experimental findings showing that shi can only be absent in matrix sluicing and is obligatory in embedded sluicing, regardless of the wh-phrase. I then provide novel arguments in favor of the view that sluicing with shi is underlying copular, while sluicing without shi is not.




How to Cite

Chen, Jiayuan. 2024. “The Structure of Mandarin Embedded and Matrix Sluicing”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 9 (1): 5671.