International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Remarks on Shi-Support in Modern Mandarin
Ruixi Ressy Ai

This paper argues that constructions involving shi (‘be’)-support in Modern Mandarin (MM) are not the overt counterpart of do-supported constructions in English. While do-support typically licenses vP ellipsis in English, what shi-support licenses in MM is an instance of deep anaphora, in the sense of Sag (1976), and Hankamer and Sag (1976). Along this line of analysis, constructions involving shi-support in MM are treated as instances of Null Object Constructions (NOCs) or an extreme case of DP-deaccenting and shi is analyzed as a linking verb (copula), instead of an (emphatic) modal/auxiliary (contra Li, G. 2002, Xu 2003, Li, A. 2005, Soh, 2007).

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