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Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 219–255 | Cite as

On Existential Polarity-WH-0Phrases in Chinese

  • Jo-wang Lin
Article

Abstract

This paper provides a comprehensive survey and generalization of the distribution of non-interrogative existential wh-phrases in Chinese that behave like polarity items. I show that such polarity wh-phrases appear in three kinds of environments, which seem to decrease in their strength for polarity licensing, and argue that they are subject to a non-existence condition to the effect that the local proposition in which they appear does not entail existence of individuals satisfying their descriptions. This approach is shown to represent an improvement over Li's (1992) analysis. I also discuss some open questions that are theoretically significant but lack a definite answer at the present stage.

Keywords

Comprehensive Survey Definite Answer Present Stage Polarity Item Theoretical Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo-wang Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and LiteraturesNational Chiao Tung UniversityHsinchuTaiwan

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