The adjective da in Taiwanese Mandarin: degree, measurement and roots

Chen-Sheng Luther Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study shows how what has been originally ascribed to the 'lexicon' is 'distributed' among different components of syntax and how degrees are compositionally introduced across categories by investigating the syntax and semantics of the Taiwanese Mandarin X hen da construction. In this construction, degrees are compositionally introduced by the literally vacuous adjective da 'DA', which contributes a structure-preserving map from entities, events or states to their measures along various dimensions (Wellwood in Linguist Philos 38(1):67-101, 2015). Syntactically, the constituent hen da 'HEN DA' functions to be predicated of the root of the X component at the root-level, and the root later must move into the corresponding light head position to be categorically defined.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of East Asian Linguistics
StatePublished - 30 Apr 2020


  • Degree
  • Distributed morphology
  • Measurement
  • Root
  • Taiwanese Mandarin

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