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A long-distance dependency analysis of Mandarin bei-passives in LFG

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Title: A long-distance dependency analysis of Mandarin bei-passives in LFG
Author: Hsu, Brian
Advisor: Harrison, K. David; Lee-Schoenfeld, Vera
Department: Swarthmore College. Dept. of Linguistics
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: This paper presents an account of bei-passives in Mandarin Chinese within the framework of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG). I propose treating bei-passives as a type of long-distance dependency (LDD) construction analogous to English tough-type sentences, and discuss the merits of this analysis. Recent research on the topic has generally concluded that “short” and “long” passives have separate derivations (Huang, Li, & Li 2009). Since this account can be challenged upon grounds of desired theoretical simplicity and explanatory adequacy, one desired outcome is a uniform derivation of bei-sentences. The LDD analysis proposed here is able to account for the defining properties of long bei-passives, including unbounded dependencies and resumptive pronouns. I also argue that the unique control structure of “adversative passives” can be explained naturally by an LDD structure. However, certain differences between short passives and long passives cannot be completely accounted for under the present account, and should encourage further inquiry.
Subject: Lexical-functional grammar
Subject: Chinese language -- Passive voice
Subject: Bei (The Chinese word)
Access Restrictions: Open Access
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Hsu, Brian. "A long-distance dependency analysis of Mandarin bei-passives in LFG". 2009. Available electronically from

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