Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 347–376 | Cite as

Control complements in Mandarin Chinese: implications for restructuring and the Chinese finiteness debate

  • Nick HuangEmail author


Many proposals on restructuring suggest that restructuring phenomena are only observed when a control predicate takes as a complement a functional projection smaller than a clause. In this paper, I present novel Mandarin data against recent proposals that restructuring control predicates cannot take clausal complements and the related generalization that clausal complements always block restructuring phenomena. An alternative account of the Mandarin data is presented. The data also bear on the question of whether a finiteness distinction exists in Chinese. In particular, they provide clearer evidence that control predicates can take clausal complements that differ syntactically from those of non-control attitude predicates. This difference parallels the cross-linguistic correlation between control predicates and non-finite clausal complements and lends new support for the claim that Chinese makes a finiteness distinction.


Restructuring Control Finiteness Mandarin Chinese Clause structure 


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I would like to thank the editors and three anonymous reviewers, whose feedback have helped to substantially improve the paper. I am also grateful to Howard Lasnik, Tom Grano, Waltraud Paul, and the audience at ECO5 2017 for their comments on previous versions of the paper, and to Chia-Hsuan Liao and Wang Heyu for sharing their judgments for some of the examples. All errors remain mine. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1449815.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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