|Titre||On the syntax of two correlative constructions in Mandarin Chinese|
|Année de publication||2015|
|Titre de la conférence||The 10th International Workshop on Theoretical East Asian Linguistics|
|Date de publication||06/2015|
This paper investigates the syntactic structures of two correlative constructions in Mandarin: “yòu… yòu…” and “yìbiān … yìbiān…” Both of them correlate only predicates. “Yòu… yòu…” describes coexisting qualities of an entity (1-a) or actions occurring in the same time frame (1-b). “Yìbiān … yìbiān…” expresses the simultaneity of two actions (2).
(1) a. yòu měilì yòu cōngmíng
again beautiful again smart
‘beautiful and smart’
b. yòu xǐ yīfu yòu zuò wǎnfàn.
again wash clothes again make dinner
‘do the laundry and make the dinner.’
(2) yìbiān xǐ yīfu yìbiān zuò wǎnfàn.
one-side wash clothes one-side make dinner
‘make the dinner while doing the laundry.’
These two constructions are considered coordinate structures in the literature (Chao, 1968; Zhang, 2008; Xing, 2003). Zhang (2008) further compares them to correlative coordinations in Germanic languages, arguing that the first correlator is a focus particle while the second one functions as a coordinator. Contrary to these views, we argue that while “yòu… yòu…” is indeed a coordination, “yìbiān… yìbiān…” is not. Moreover, the structure of “yòu… yòu…” is different from that of correlative coordinations in Germanic languages.
1. “Yòu… yòu…” constitutes coordinate structures while “yìbiān…yìbiān…” forms adjunct-head relationships between the predicates that it connects.
No element can be extracted from either predicate in “yòu…yòu…” sentences (3-a, 3-b, 4-a, 4-b) or from the first predicate of “yìbiān…yìbiān…” (3-d, 4-d). However, extractions from the second predicate of “yìbiān…yìbiān…” are allowed (3-c, 4-c). In addition, in some contexts, “yìbiān Pred.1” can appear before the subject (5) while no context allows “yòu Pred.1” to move to the beginning of a sentence. In other words, “yòu…yòu…” observes Coordinate Structure Constraint while “yìbiān…yìbiān…” shows Adjunct Island effects.
(3) a. *Mǎlì yòu xǐ yīfu yòu zuò ei de nà dùn wǎnfàni…
Mary again wash clothes again make Rel. that Cl. dinner
b. *Mǎlì yòu xǐ ei yòu zuò wǎnfàn de nà xiē yīfui…
Mary again wash again make dinner Rel. that some clothes
c. Mǎlì yìbiān xǐ yīfu yìbiān zuò ei de nà dùn
Mary one-side wash clothes one-side make Rel. that Cl.
‘The dinner that Mary made while doing the laundry...’
d. *Mǎlì yìbiān xǐ ei yìbiān zuò wǎnfàn de nà xiē
Mary one-side wash one-side make dinner Rel. that some
(4) a. *Jīntiān de wǎnfàni shì Mǎlì yòu xǐ yīfu yòu zuò ei de.
Today Gen. dinner be Mary again wash clothes again make DE
b. *Jīntiān de yīfui shì Mǎlì yòu xǐ ei yòu zuò wǎnfàn de.
Today Gen. clothes be Mary again wash again make dinner DE
c. Jīntiān de wǎnfàni shì Mǎlì yìbiān xǐ yīfu yìbiān
Today Gen. dinner be Mary one-side wash clothes one-side
zuò ei de.
‘Today’s dinner was made by Mary while she did the laundry.’
d. *Jīntiān de yīfui shì Mǎlì yìbiān xǐ ei yìbiān zuò wǎnfàn de.
Today Gen. clothes be Mary one-side wash one-side make dinner DE
(5) Yìbiān zǒu, tā yìbiān yòng quán qīng qiāo zìjǐ de tóu.
one-side walk, he one-side use fist lightly knock self Gen. head
‘While walking, he gently knocked his head with a fist.’ (Laoshe “Looking at
2. “Yòu… yòu…” is a simple coordinate structure formed by two identical adverbs instead of a correlative coordination composed of a focus particle and a coordinator.
Unlike “and” or “or,” a single “yòu” does not have the function of a coordinator. It is simply an adverb that marks the accumulation of events or properties (Biq, 1988). “Yòu” can appear with both the conjunction “érqiě” ‘and’ (6-a) and the subordinator “zhīhòu” ‘after’ (6-b), which shows that it constitutes neither coordinate nor subordinate relationships between the elements that it links. In contrast, “and,” as a coordinator, is not compatible with any subordinator (7), nor is “yòu…yòu…” (6-c). In addition, the first “yòu” of “yòu…yòu…” should not be analyzed as a focus or restrictive particle such as “even” or “only.” The position of the first “yòu” is rather fixed— it should stays right in front of the first conjunct (8) and does not “float” as freely as “both” or “either” in correlative coordinations of Germanic languages (Johannessen, 2005; Zhang, 2008) (9). On the contrary, the restrictive adverb “zhǐ” ‘only’ can appear at different preverbal positions and creates scope effects (10), just as “only” in English.
(6) a. Tā xǐ-le wǎn, (érqiě) yòu tuō-le dì.
s/he wash-Acp. dishes, and again mop-Acp. floor
‘S/he washed the dishes, and mopped the floor, too.’
b. Tā xǐ-le wǎn (zhīhòu), yòu tuō-le dì.
s/he wash-Acp. dishes after, again mop-Acp. floor
‘After washing the dishes, s/he mopped the floor, too.’
c. Tā yòu xǐ-le wǎn (*zhīhòu), yòu tuō-le dì.
s/he again wash-Acp. dishes after, again mop-Acp. floor
(7) (*After/*Before/*When) she washed the dishes and mopped the floor.
(8) a. Tā xiǎng yòu kàn diànshì yòu wán yóuxì.
s/he want again watch television again play games
‘S/he wants to watch TV and also play video games.’
b. Tā yòu xiǎng kàn diànshì yòu *(xiǎng) wán yóuxì.
s/he again want watch television again want play games
(9) Max wants to eat either grapes or cherries. / Max wants to either eat grapes or cherries. /
Max either wants to eat grapes, or cherries. (Examples from Zhang, 2008)
(10) a. Tā xiǎng zhǐ kàn diànshì. b. Tā zhǐ xiǎng kàn diànshì.
s/he want only watch television s/he only want watch TV
‘S/he wants to watch TV only.’ ‘S/he only wants to watch TV.’
In conclusion, not all correlative constructions in Chinese are correlative coordinations similar to those in Germanic languages. “Yìbiān…yìbiān…” forms VP adjunctions, and “yòu…yòu…” is a simple coordinate structure made up of two identical adverbs. Our findings improve the current understandings of coordinate structures in Chinese.
Biq, Y.-O. (1988). From objectivity to subjectivity: The text-building function of you in Chinese. Studies in Language, 12(1), 99-122.
Chao, Y. R. (1968). A Grammar of Spoken Chinese. Berkeley; Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.
Johannessen, J. B. (2005). The syntax of correlative adverbs. Lingua, 115, 419-443.
邢福义 [Xing, Fu-Yi] (2001)。汉语复句研究 [Study on Complex Sentences of Mandarin Chinese]。北京：商务印书馆 [Peking: The Commercial Press]。
Zhang, N. N. (2008). Repetitive and correlative coordinators as focus particles parasitic on coordinators. SKY Journal of Linguistics, 21, 295-342.