The Syntax-Semantics reading group and MULL-lab will be meeting on Wednesday, November 8th at 4pm in Rm. 117 of the McGill Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join in person.
This week, Sabrina will be presenting a talk entitled: ‘Argument-adjunct asymmetry of Mandarin Chinse wh-in-situ island sensitivity’.
In contrast to their English counterparts, wh-elements in Mandarin Chinese remain in-situ within interrogative constructions. The work of Ross (1967) has illuminated the island effects generated by overt movement of wh-words in English. A long-established generalization posits that in Mandarin Chinese, argument wh-elements that persist in-situ demonstrate a marked insensitivity to islands, setting them apart from adjunct wh-elements. This so-called argument-adjunct asymmetry (Huang, 1982), has attracted challenges in recent years as some studies have presented mixed findings, suggesting that both argument and adjunct wh-elements in-situ may exhibit a degree of sensitivity to islands (Lu et al. 2020, Kim et al. 2023). In the presentation, I aim to review the issue by presenting analyses both from an experimental approach and a phase-based approach.
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