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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2010, Vol. 41, No. 2, Pages 305-329
(doi: 10.1162/ling.2010.41.2.305)
© 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A Tenseless Analysis of Mandarin Chinese Revisited: A Response to Sybesma 2007
Article PDF (111.73 KB)
Abstract

Sybesma (2007) argues for the existence of a syntactic T node in Chinese on the basis of general theoretical considerations and parallel empirical data from Dutch and Chinese. This reply shows that a tenseless analysis of Chinese is an equally viable alternative or even a better one, given some empirical problems that the tensed analysis has to face. The tenseless analysis is backed up not only by its ability to explain the data in a more elegant way but also by syntactic facts that seem to be unrelated coincidences under a tensed analysis but are natural consequences under a tenseless alternative.