An appositive analysis of Mandarin distributor

This article presents an alternative argument that Mandarin distributor GE (GEDIS) is a pro-form to be merged as an appositive to a plural nominal, verb or adverbial. GEDIS performs a distributive function of matching a set of individuals to a set of predications, thus requiring the obligatory co-occurrence of a distributive host, i.e., an antecedent plural nominal, verbal or adverbial phrase, and a distributive target, i.e., a following syntactic constituent that helps to separate the predication. The canonical syntactic position of GEDIS is immediately to the right of the distributive host. An appositive analysis of GEDIS is proposed to the effect that GEDIS is merged as an appositive to the distributive host. This new analysis improves upon the existing adjunct analysis, which takes GEDIS as a quantificational adverb that adjoins to VP or vP. The appositive analysis is further supported by the convincing view that GEDIS is a pronoun rather than an adverb and can be extended to cover two new facts about GEDIS, where the distributive host is a plural verb phrase or a plural adverbial phrase. The conclusion reached is that GEDIS is a pro-form that is semantically associated with and syntactically apposed to a plural antecedent in the capacity of a nominal, a verb or an adverbial.

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