University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Article Title

Mandarin Parasitic Gaps


Lin (2005) argues that parasitic gaps in Mandarin Chinese have to be licensed by syntactic wh-movement. However, given three syntactic pieces of evidence which involve weak crossover effects, replacement of pronouns, and multiple wh-phrases respectively, I propose that the sentence-initial wh-phrases in relevant sentences cannot be said to move from the object position of the matrix verb. Instead, they should be thought of as originating in the sentence-initial position, which amounts to saying that there is no syntactic wh-movement in this kind of sentences. Nevertheless, this analysis does not imply that there is no parasitic-gap sentence in Mandarin Chinese. With the help of the sentences containing a complex NP in which the object position is empty, we conclude that it is null operator movement that serves as the licensor for Mandarin parasitic gaps. By assuming so, we can maintain the idea that parasitic gaps have to be licensed by A’-movement without raising the problems mentioned in the paper.