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Title: On Wh Quantification
Other Titles: Wh liang hua
Wh 量化
Authors: Hua, Dongfan (花東帆)
Department: Dept. of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Dept. of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Grammar, Comparative and general -- Quantifiers
Notes: CityU Call Number: P299.Q3 H83 2000
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 198-204).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2000
ix, 204 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: In this dissertation, I provide an analysis of wh quantification that combines the Unselective Binding and the Move WH approach. The former assumes that wh-expressions are essentially variables that are assigned appropriate quantificational force and scope through the mediation of an operator. The latter is associated with an early GB theoretic assumption that all wh-expressions are quantificational and are assigned appropriate scope through wh-movement. The idea that is central to this proposed combined approach is that both strategies are available for scope interpretation of wh-expressions in wh-questions across languages, and in Chinese they are consequential for wh-quantification in contexts other than wh-questions as well. I propose that wh-expressions are to fall into two types, i.e. those that function as variables, and those that function as operators. The Unselective Binding strategy applies to wh-expressions of the former type, whereas Move WH to the latter. The distinction between the two types of wh-expressions can vary from language to language, and may not correspond to the distinction between arguments and adjuncts, referentials and nonreferentials, or adverbs and nonadverbs. . In the wh-question context, the analysis put forth treats wh movement in overt syntax and at LF as instances of a unified syntactic operation, subject to the same known locality conditions such as Subjacency and/or ECP. However, these two instances of wh- movement do not share the same motivation for movement. Rather, wh-movement in overt syntax is 'accidental', language specific, and not required for the purpose of scope marking. It may thus indiscriminately apply, in languages where it is applicable, to all wh-expressions. In contrast, abstract wh-movement does not apply to wh-variables, but of 'necessity' to wh-operators in order to assign them appropriate scope. This dissertation shows then, with special reference to Chinese and English, how the combined approach proposed offers a solution to the long-standing problem posed by attested asymmetries among wh-expressions with respect to their scope interpretation, and in contexts other than wh-questions, how wh-expressions are licensed and assigned various indefinite readings. On empirical grounds, I put forth a number of suggestions for modification of previous analyses of Chinese wh-indefinites by some other linguists.
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