ON CHINESE ORDINAL CONSTRUCTIONS
A Chinese ordinal construction in the form ['di' + Num + Cl + N] is ambiguous between a definite construal and an indefinite quantity construal. The morpheme 'di' heads a DP, and the two readings of the ordinal expression can be attributed to the lexical ambiguity of the morpheme 'di'. On the one hand, if the event is realized once, and there is an ordered set of objects in a single space within which the context of a sentence can verify a presupposed referential existence for the denotation of ordinal phrases, 'di' is a [+strong] determiner giving rise to a definite reading. On the other hand, if the event is carried out more than once, no such an ordered set of objects is present in a single space, and the context of a sentence cannot verify a presupposed referential existence for the denotation of ordinal phrases, 'di' is a [-strong] determiner with an additive function and results in an indefinite quantity reading.
Key words: noun phrase structure, ordinal construction, definite, indefinite, quantity