Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 275–311 | Cite as

Identifying Chinese dependent clauses in the forms of subjects

  • Niina Ning Zhang


How is the (in)-dependence (or finiteness) of a clause identified in a language that has no tense, case, or agreement morphology, such as Chinese? This paper investigates the control verb construction and the generic sentential subject construction, bringing to light the special forms and interpretations of the subjects of the dependent clauses in the constructions. The special properties are not found in the subjects of independent clauses. Therefore, contrasts between dependent and independent clauses are attestable in the language. The paper also proposes a derived predication analysis of the interpretation patterns of embedded empty subjects of the language.


Dependent clause Finiteness Subject Complemented pronoun Derived predicate The Generalized Control Rule Generic 



Thanks (but not remaining inadequacies) are owed to the three reviewers of JEAL for their advice and suggestions, and to Liching Chiu, Shih-peng Shih, Yi-ling Patricia Su, Hsuan-Hsiang Sam Wang, and Zhiren Adam Zheng, for their comments on the ideas found in this paper. This research has been supported by grants from the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology, ROC.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of LinguisticsNational Chung Cheng UniversityChia-YiTaiwan

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