2009 Issues in the Semantics of Mandarin Questions, Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. [download pdf ]

Abstract: This dissertation strives to explain certain long-standing issues in Mandarin questions within a new framework, i.e. the Alternative Semantics theory, and also to bring in hitherto unnoticed new data.

Part I of the dissertation examines argument wh-questions. Starting from Tsai’s (1999) Lexical Courtesy Hypothesis, according to which wh-movement in general should be avoided if possible, I present an analysis of Mandarin wh-in-situ within the framework of Alternative Semantics (Rooth 1985, Shimoyama 2001) which does not resort to LF movement or unselective binding. Furthermore I propose that the scope marking of questions in this theory is achieved by focus intonation. Experimental phonetic data are provided to support this important new claim.


2002 Studies in the Intra-sentential Co-reference Rules of the 3rd person pronoun “ta” in Chinese. MA Thesis, Peking University, Beijing, China. [download pdf ]