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The Syntactic Behavior of Wh-Words in Wh-Questions in A Story of the Stone
Current Issue
Volume 6, 2019
Issue 4 (December)
Pages: 34-40   |   Vol. 6, No. 4, December 2019   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 4   Since Dec. 11, 2019 Views: 55   Since Dec. 11, 2019
Authors
[1]
Ma Daoshan, School of Humanities, Tiangong University, Tianjin, China.
Abstract
The syntactic behavior of wh-words in Wh-Questions in Mandarin Chinese has been well discussed in previous literature, particularly in Archaic Chinese and modern Chinese, but it is less discussed in early modern Chinese, especially in the classic novel of A Story of the Stone. Wh-Questions in A Story of the Stone may serve as representatives for the status of the sentence type in early modern Chinese, though there are thousands of them in the classic novel. The galley proof read Jiaxu version of A Story of the Stone commented by Zhi Yanzhai, is selected for data collection in this article. As there are thousands of Wh-Questions in the novel, chapter one is chosen for the source of data collection. In Chapter One, there are 21 Wh-Questions for us to analyze the syntactic behavior of these sentence structures. None of these interrogative sentences carry mood particles at the end of them which might lead us to the belief that question particles are not head complementizers in the Wh-Questions, instead they are sentential affixes attached to the head C at the end of the sentence. After the object shifted wh-words are moved to the spec FocP position to check against the strong focus feature of the head, the wh-feature of these wh-words is attracted to the spec CP at the front of the matrix clause to check off the weak head wh-feature of the complementizer. In relative clauses the wh-feature of these wh-words is attracted to the spec CP in the embedded clause to check off the weak head wh-feature of the complementizer. In most the Wh-Questions in Chapter One of A Story of the Stone, the wh-feature of the in situ wh-words is attracted to the spec CP at the front of the matrix clause to check off the weak head wh-feature of the complementizer, abiding by the Wh-Feature Attraction Principle.
Keywords
Wh-words, Wh-Questions, A Story of the Stone, Feature Checking, Feature Attraction
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