University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Taking the Cartographic Approach, I argue that the left periphery of nominals in Mandarin (i.e., the domain before demonstrative) has properties similar to the split-CP domain proposed by Rizzi (1997). In addition, I argue that the nominal internal domain (i.e., under demonstrative but outside of NP) encodes information structure in a way similar to the sentence-internal Topic and Focus that has been put forth in the literature. In this paper, I show that identifying Topic and Focus within a nominal at such two distinct domains helps to explain various so-called “reordering” and extraction phenomena affecting nominal elements, their interpretation, and their associated discourse functions. The result of this paper supports the parallelisms between noun phrases and clauses and it provides a new perspective to evaluate such theoretical implication, that is, the interaction between syntax and information structure.