Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Tsing Hua University
UST Working Papers in Linguistics, Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Tsing Hua University, Volume 4, Pages 43-56
This paper examines the syntactic status of the element you ‘have’ in the Mandarin existential construction. The basic structure of the you existential is [you NP XP]. In some previous researches, you is seen as a functional head, an Infl or a modal. Under this analysis, the post-you NP is the VP-internal subject that remains in-situ, and XP is the main predicate of the sentence. However, in this paper we propose that you is in fact the main verb of the sentence. The NP is the object of the sentence and XP an adjunct CP. We have several reasons for this claim. First, you behaves very similarly with other verbal yous. Second, the XP exhibits the CED effect, which is a trait of an adjunct expression. Third, the XP shows features of a CP, and therefore is unlikely to be the main predicate of the sentence.