Cantonese Neg-wh-quantifiers (Neg-whQ): A Syntactic Account in Comparative Grammar

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This paper looks at a kind of colloquial phrases in Cantonese, the proposed negative wh-quantifier (‘Neg-whQ’), at syntax and semantics interface. Neg-whQs have the form [mou ‘no’ + wh- word]. Instead of a canonical SVO order, an Neg-whQobj uniquely manifests an SOV order and is variously interpreted as negative ‘nothing’ or existential ‘only a few’. Neg-WhQs do appear in subject position in Mandarin Chinese and as nowhere in English, however, such SOV word order of Neg-whQobj constructions is absent. This study discusses the overt movement phenomenon object Neg-whQs embody in a feature-based approach and accounts for the dual interpretation of Neg-whQobj constructions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19
Number of pages32
JournalCurrent Research in Chinese Linguistics (CrCL)
Issue number1726-9245
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
EventThe 20th International conference on Yue Dialects - Chinese Univeristy of Hong Kong , Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 11 Dec 201512 Dec 2015


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