Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 107–115 | Cite as

A parametric approach to NP ellipsis in Mandarin and Cantonese

  • Sze-Wing TangEmail author


It is argued that the “true empty category” in Mandarin NP ellipsis is not necessarily a semantically empty structure-less position; instead it could have a complex structure, containing a referential head. Such a referential head is, however, missing in Cantonese. The dialectal variation between Mandarin and Cantonese is attributed to the noun movement parameter, which has been independently motivated in the literature.


NP ellipsis True empty category Relativization Movement Mandarin Cantonese 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chinese Language and LiteratureThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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