Ditransitives in Mandarin

  • Queenie Chan Simon Fraser University
Keywords: ditransitives, Mandarin, syntax


This paper attempts to provide a syntactic account for the derivation of ditransitives in Mandarin, which has a four-way realization—(a) [V DO gei IO], (b) [V IO DO], (c) [V gei IO DO] and (d) [gei IO V DO], where DO denotes the direct object, IO the indirect object and gei is treated as the equivalent of the preposition to. Particularly, this study sets out to determine whether any of the four alternations share underlying syntactic structures. Syntactic tests were employed to elicit different syntactic behaviours, which serve as an indicator of non-identical underlying structures. An examination of implication of location and idioms reveals that (a), (c) and (d) are comparable. This study concludes that (b) has its own underlying syntactic structure while (a), (c) and (d) are derivationally related.