Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Chinese Syntax in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Audrey Li, Andrew Simpson, and Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945658

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945658.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Root Infinitive Analogues in Chinese and Japanese and the Emergence of Full Syntactic Structure

Root Infinitive Analogues in Chinese and Japanese and the Emergence of Full Syntactic Structure

(p.375) 14 Root Infinitive Analogues in Chinese and Japanese and the Emergence of Full Syntactic Structure
Chinese Syntax in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective

Keiko Murasugi

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Root Infinitives (RIs) and Root Infinitive Analogues (RIAs), the non-finite (infinitival) verbal forms which children at around one to two years of age use in matrix (root) clauses, are produced by both Chinese- and Japanese-speaking children; whether or not the target language is *pro*-drop or argument-drop, children universally go through the very early non-finite verb stage. It argues that the child root clause is not CP like adults’, but the phrase structure may be truncated, and it also argues that there are morphological variations: RI(A)s can be infinitives(e.g., German, Dutch, French), bare verbs (e.g., Chinese, English), or certain (surrogate) full forms(e.g., Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Kuwaiti Arabic) and suggests that the morphological parameter that determines whether or not the stem can stand by itself is acquired at the very early stage of language acquisition. Furthermore, based on the findings of the early emergence of the sentence-ending particles in child Chinese and child Japanese, we suggest that children acquire syntactic structure not only in a bottom-up fashion, but also in a top-down fashion, and the structure of syntactic phrase is bootstrapped by the knowledge of the pragmatic properties of speech act particles that link the addresser and the addressee.

Keywords:   Root Infinitives, Root Infinitive Analogues, surrogate infinitives, truncation, verbal forms, speech act phrase, sentence-ending particles

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .