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Education & Language - Linguistics | Cantonese Particles and Affixal Quantification

Cantonese Particles and Affixal Quantification

Lee, Peppina Po-lun

2012, XIV, 254 p.

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  • The first book-length study on affixal quantification and Cantonese verbal affixes
  • Provides a detailed comparison between affixal quantification, determiner quantification, and adverbial quantification
  • Includes syntax-semantics mapping approach and a combination of theoretical and descriptive methods, which makes the book an indispensible resource

Cantonese, the lingua franca of Hong Kong and its neighboring province, has an unusually rich repertoire of verbal particles. This volume significantly augments the academic literature on their semantics, focusing on three affixal quantifiers, -saai, -hoi and -maai. The author shows how these verbal suffixes display a unique interplay of syntax and semantics: used in a sentence with no focus, they quantify items flexibly, according to an accessibility hierarchy; with focus, focus comes into effect after syntactic selection.

This fresh and compelling perspective in the study of particles and quantification is the first in-depth analysis of Cantonese verbal suffixes. It compares the language’s affixal quantification to the alternative determiner and adverbial quantifiers. The book’s syntax-semantics mapping geography deploys both descriptive and theoretical approaches, making it an essential resource for researchers studying the nexus of syntax and semantics, as well as Cantonese itself.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Affixal quantification - Cantonese grammar - Cantonese linguistics - Generative linguistics - Quantification and Cantonese Verbal Suffixes - Quantification in natural languages - Syntax-semantics interface - Syntax-semantics mapping - Tripartite structures - Verbal affixes

Related subjects » Linguistics

Table of contents 

Abstract .- Preface .- Abbreviations .- Chapter One: Introduction . The Problem  . Major Ideas to be Proposed  . Organization .- Chapter Two: Previous Analyses on Quantification   and Cantonese Verbal   Suffixes . Introduction: Quantification in Natural Language     . Generalized Quantifiers . D-quantification and A-quantification . D-quantification: Assimilating A-quantification with D-quantification  . A-quantification . Tripartite Structures . Distinguishing D-quantification from A-quantification: The Role of Focus in D-quantification and A-quantification . Where does Affixal Quantification Stand? A- or D-quantification? . Previous Literature of Affixal Quantification  . Verbal Suffixes in Cantonese: What is Special about Cantonese?  . An Overview: A Rich Inventory of Verbal Suffixes in Cantonese . Morpho-syntactic Properties of Cantonese Affixal Quantifiers  . Previous Analyses of Quantifying Verbal Suffixes in Cantonese ----hoi, -maai and –saai . Previous Analyses of -hoi and Their Limitations . -Hoi as a Progressive Marker . Hoi as a Continuative Marker . Hoi as a Habitual Marker . Previous Analyses of -maai and Their Limitations . Maai marks an “Extension” . Maai marks the Completion of an Event . Maai Marks an “Accumulation” . Maai and “lin…je” . Previous Analyses of -saai and Their Limitations . The Definiteness/Specificity of the Associated NPs . The Telicity Requirement of –saai . The Divisibility Requirement of -saai  . Two Derived Meanings of –saai . Quantification of -saai: -Saai as a nominal Quantifier or an Anti-quantifier . Saai as a Nominal Quantifier . Saai as an A-quantifier over Events or an Anti-quantifier . Saai is neither an Event Quantifier nor a Pure Nominal . Quantifier .- Chapter Three: The Quantification Accessibility Hierarchy for Affixal Quantifiers . Saai, -hoi and -maai as Quantifiers . A Selectional Restriction of Universal Quantifier -saai: The part structure requirement . A Selectional Restriction of Generic Quantifier -hoi: A plurality condition for affixal quantifiers . Does -hoi require an event or a situation variable? . A Plurality Condition for Affixal Quantifiers . A Plurality of Events or Situations . A Plurality of Events Given by the Subevent Property or [+part] Objects . Plurality Satisfied by a Set of Time Points . A Selectional Restriction of Additive Quantifier -maai: The definiteness requirement . Maai imposes no restriction on its co-occurring predicate . Maai requires a [+definite] argument . The Selection of Items for Association --- Syntactic selection by the Quantification .  Accessibility Hierarchy for Affixal Quantifiers . The Selection of Items for Association of –saai . Subject-object Asymmetry in Transitives . Selection over Subjects or Direct Objects . Selection over Other Verbal Arguments . The Selection of Predicates as the Last Option . The Quantification Accessibility Hierarchy for –Saai . The Selection of Items for Association of –hoi . Selection over Direct and Indirect Arguments . Selection over Other Verbal Arguments and the Predicate . The Failure of -hoi to Select the Subjects . The Quantification Accessibility Hierarchy for –Hoi . The Selection of Items for Association of -maai   . Selection over DOs, IOs, and Preverbal PPs . Does -maai select subjects? . The Quantification Accessibility Hierarchy for Affixal Quantifiers . An Attempt to Account for the Blocking Effect of Subject Quantification . Scope Orders of Logical Operators . Explaining the Blocking Effect of Subject Quantification .- Chapter Four: The Syntax-Semantics Mappings of Affixal Quantifiers and Tripartite Structures . Scopes of the Three Affixal Quantifiers . Structural Locality of Verbal Suffixes . Hoi and –maai attaching to v’ . Scope for -saai: vP or TP? . The Syntax-Semantics Mappings of Cantonese Affixal Quantifiers . The Syntax-Semantics Mapping of Universal Quantifier –saai when there is no focus . The Syntax-Semantics Mapping of Additive Quantifier –maai  when there is no focus . The Syntax-Semantics Mapping of Generic Quantifier –hoi  when there is no focus . A General Mapping Hypothesis for Affixal Quantifiers . Three Remaining Issues . The Incompatibility between Affixal Quantifiers and Aspectual Markers . Affixal Quantifiers Fail to Quantify over wh-indefinites . The Interaction of Affixal Quantifiers with Numeral NP Objects .- Chapter Five: The Role of Focus in Affixal Quantification --- does quantification in natural language involve one process or two? . An Overview: The Role of Focus in Quantification . The Role of Focus in Saai-quantification . Can Focus Alter the Selection of -saai Determined by the Quantification . Accessibility Hierarchy? . Can Focus Affect the Mapping of -saai if the Selected Item is in Focus? . Two Derived Meanings of –saai . An Emphatic Meaning . “Only” or Exclusive Meaning . The Role of Focus in Hoi-quantification . Can Focus Alter the Selection of -hoi Determined by the Quantification Accessibility Hierarchy? . Can Focus Affect the Mapping of -hoi if the Selected Item is in Focus? . The Role of Focus in Maai-quantification .    Can Focus Affect the Selection and the Mapping of -maai? . Focus Association in Affixal Quantification . Focus Sensitivity of Affixal Quantifiers . Identifying a New Role of Focus in Quantification --- A Two-Process Approach to Quantification in Natural Language . Separating the Selection Process from the Mapping Process . A Two-process Mechanism for All Quantifiers . Focus as the Important Factor in Distinguishing the Two Processes .- Chapter Six: Affixal Quantification and Its Relation with A- and D-quantifications . Affixal Quantification Falls in-between the Dichotomy of D- and Q-quantifications . Affixal Quantifiers Vs. A-quantifiers and D-quantifiers . Unselective Binder –saai . Saai is Not a Pure A-quantifier . Does -saai Behave like a Strong Determiner or a Weak Determiner? . Unselective Binder –hoi . A Comparison between Preverbal Q-adverbs and –hoi . Hoi Vs. Generic Operators and Q-adverbs . Further Contrasts among Covert Gen, Q-adverbs and –hoi . Unselective Binder –maai . Maai Vs. D-quantifiers . Maai Vs. A-quantifiers . Maai Vs. English “even” and English “also/too” . Affixal Quantifiers Behave Like neither Pure A-quantifiers nor Pure D-quantifiers .- Chapter Seven: Concluding Remarks . Summary of Major Findings . Theoretical Consequences and Implications  . Future Research .- References

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