City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
What Are Intervention Effects?
Prof. Xu Liejiong
Department of Linguistics, University of Toronto
Date: 24 November 2006, Friday
Time: 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Venue: B7603 (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone),Academic Building,CityU
The combination of a wh-word with a quantificational or focusing element leads to ungrammaticality in certain configurations cross-linguistically. It is known as intervention effects. It has been claimed by some researchers that focus operators like zhi ‘only’, ye ‘also’ and quantificational expressions like meiyou-ren ‘nobody’, hen shao ‘very few’, induce intervention effects in Chinese interrogative sentences containing weishenme ‘why’ and in A-not-A questions. For instance, the following sentences are unacceptable: *Meiyou ren weishenme qu? *Ta ye qu-bu-qu? This presentation addresses the question: how unitary are intervention effects and concludes that such questions may be unacceptable for different semantic reasons.
Prof. Xu Liejiong, formerly Professor (Chair) of Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong, affiliated to the Department of Linguistics, University of Toronto since retirement in 2002. Author/editor of 14 books and over 100 articles/chapters, including articles published in Language, Linguisic Inquiry, Lingua, the Linguistic Review, etc.