THE SYNTAX OF BI-COMPARATIVES IN MANDARIN CHINESE
This The study attempts to propose a syntactic account of bi-comparatives in Mandarin Chinese under the generative framework. Bi plays a role reminiscent of a prepositional complementizer projecting a self-completed clause (Hsing 2003, Chung 2006), a preverbal adjunct in the wake of Liu (1996). Following Abney (1987), Kennedy (1997), Kennedy & Merchant (1997), it is suggested that a gradable adjective projects an extended functional structure DegP headed by a degree morpheme in the bi-comparative. The adjunction of the bi-clause onto the SpecDegP is triggered by the need to saturate and restrict the degree argument of the adjective (Liu 2007ab, 2010c). An adjective or verb phrase within the bi-clause is deleted. By studying bi-comparatives in depth, this study not only can shed light on the clausal analysis of bi-comparatives, but also provide useful data for future research on Comparative Deletion (Bresnan 1973, 1975).
Key words: syntax, bi-comparative, clausal comparative, phrasal comparative, Comparative Deletion