Typecraft v2.5
Jump to: navigation, search

On the Status of 'Modifying' DE and the Structure of the Chinese DP

On the Status of 'Modifying' DE and the Structure of the Chinese DP  
Type Article
Author(s) Andrew Simpson
Editor(s) Sze-Wing Tang and Chen-Sheng Liu eds.
Publication title On the Formal Way to Chinese Languages
Publisher Stanford:CSLI
Annotator Qingqing Wang
Corpus Link On the Status of 'Modifying' DE and the Structure of the Chinese DP
Media type web article [1]

By Qingqing Wang

General Information

This article belongs to the TC Category Interlinear Glossed Text from Linguistic Research.

In this category we collect TCwiki pages that feature Interlinear Glossed Text (IGT) from linguistic publications.

IGT are normally demarcated through indenting, numbering and a space above and under the example. One line of text is followed by one line of glosses and a line with free translation completes the pattern. IGTs from linguistic publications are of particular interest, since they represent a unique alignment of language data and linguistic theory. Example sentences from seminal articles are not rarely quoted in linguistic publications for decades which is another good reason why they need our attention.

In an effort to make IGT more accessible to linguistic research, we try to extract original IGT from linguistic publications and in same cases we provide additional linguistic glosses through a subsequent layer of annotation using the TypeCraft Glosser. In this way we hope to contribute to the re-usability of this data.

On each of the our pages that feature IGT from secondary sources, we also provide a short annotated bibliography, sometimes combined with a list of key-terms which can help to gain a perspective on the research questions raised in the original article. The 'Infobox' may contain further information about the linguistic framework used in the original article, as well as additional classifications of the phenomena treated, whenever that is possible.


nominal modifying de
Mandarin DP structure
Antisymmetry of Syntax Theory (Kayne, 1994)
Definiteness and Szabolsci (1994)
the function of determiner


This article re-examines the status of nominal ‘modifying’ de and the traditional head-final analysis of Chinese NPs/DPs. It began by showing the occurrence of de in relative clauses structures and examining the result which ensues from analyzing Chinese Relative Clauses in terms of Kayne’s (1994) Antisymmetry of Syntactic Theory. The author argues that de in Chinese should be analyzed as a determiner in Kayne’s sense. According to Szabolcsi (1994), elements in D0 position often show overt morphological definiteness concord with lower demonstratives and quantifiers, yet such definiteness agreement is not obvious in Chinese. Thus, the author argues that de has no identifiable definiteness specification. The author further considers the function of determiners cross-linguistically and that of de in Chinese, concluding that determiners frequently only appear to signal modification relation. Hence, he argues, determiners may also have the function of modification. Finally, the author examined the general construction of Chinese DP, showing that the article successfully clarify the underlying structure of Chinese DP, as a result of the analysis of de as a clitic-like determiner, Kayne’s theory of relativization and Fu’s insights into process nominals.

Original Interlinear Glossed Text

(1) 我买的书.

wǒ mǎi de shū
I buy DE book
'The book that I bought'

(2) 我的那本书.

wǒ de nà běn shū
I DE that CL book
'That my book'

(3) 我的房间很大.

wǒ de fáng jiān hěn dà
I DE room very big
'my room is very big'

(4) 对他的信任.

duì tā de xìnrèn
towards he de trust
'the trust that is to him'

(5) 我的住在北京的好朋友.

wǒ de zhù zài běi jīng de hǎo péng yǒu
I DE live in Beijing DE good friend
'The good friend of mine who lives in Beijing'

(6) 张三对李四严厉的批评.

zhāngsān duì lǐsì yánlì de pīpíng
Zhangsan towards Lisi severe DE critique
'The severe critique that is from Zhangsan to Lisi'

(7) 这是一条干净的裙子.

zhè shì yì tiáo gānjìn de qúnzi
This be one CL clean DE skirt
'This is a clean skirt'

(8) 裙子是干净的.

qúnzi shì gānjìn de
Skirt be clean DE
'The skirt is clean'

(9) 很新的裙子.

hěn xīn de qúnzi
very new DE skirt
'(a) very new skirt'

(10) 我有一间很大的房间.

wǒ yǒu yì jiān hěn dà de fángjiān
I have a CL very big DE room
'I have a very big room'

Related Articles

Author: Zhang, Yanying (2004)
Title: Processing Constraints, Categorial Analysis, and the Second Language Acquisition of the Chinese Adjective Suffix "-de"(ADJ)
Record Details [2]
Source: Language Learning, v54 n3 p437-468 Sep 2004
Available on-line [3]