The syntax and semantics of phonological phrasing in Shanghai and Hokkien

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It has been observed that phonological phrasing in Shanghai distinguishes certain determiners from others and wh-quantifier phrases from non-wh-quantifier phrases (Jin (1986), cited in Hung (1987) and Selkirk and Shen (1990)). In this paper, I show that such phonological phrasing distinctions are also found in Hokkien but in a more restricted environment. I propose a unified analysis of the phrasing facts in Shanghai and Hokkien. Specifically, I claim that the phonological phrasing rules are sensitive to the feature [±definite]. A DP specified for the feature [-definite] is phrased differently from one that is specified for [+definite] or unspecified with respect to the definiteness feature. In addition, I claim that phonological phrasing rules cannot see a syntactic projection with no phonological content. I propose the following phonological phrasing parameters for Shanghai and Hokkien Chinese. a. Shanghai Chinese Phrasing Parameter: Mark the left edge of all overt XPs, except [-definite] XPs. b. Hokkien Chinese Phrasing Paremeter: Mark the right edge of all overt XPs, except [-definite] XPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-80
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of East Asian Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


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