On de/bu and the Syntactic Nature of Resultative Verbal Compounding


By presenting a detailed syntactic analysis of two peculiar elements, “potential modality items” de and bu, intervening between the two components, V(erb) and R(esult), of Resultative Verbal Compounds (RVCs) from Mandarin Chinese, this paper argues that there is an inner modal projection De generated between V and R licensed by Modal and the familiar quantificational intervention/ blocking effects observed in dou-quantifications and A-not-A questions have an analogue in de/bu constructions of RVCs. It is proposed in this paper that the inner modal De and Modal share the same potential modality feature [M], either [Mpossibility] or [Mability], and the correlation between De and Modal is derived by an LF X/headmovement from De to Modal. The dependency between De and Modal must obey locality constraints (Relativized Minimality) and analogous quantificational intervention effects found in de/bu constructions are given as evidence for the LF X/head-movement approach.

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@inproceedings{Wu2001OnDA, title={On de/bu and the Syntactic Nature of Resultative Verbal Compounding}, author={C. T. Wu and Lisa L. Travis and Jonathan Bobaljik and Brendan Gillion and Susi Wurmbrand and Mark C. Baker and Nigel Duffield and Wei-tien Dylan Tsai and C. Tang and Ting-chi Tang}, year={2001} }