A sentence-medial clause-typing intoneme in Mandarin A-NOT-A questions

Chi Wang

ABSTRACT: A sentence-medial intoneme is argued to be responsible for typing Mandarin A-NOT-A questions. In narrow syntax, it is merged higher than deontic modals and lower than Tense; after spell-out, it is realized phonetically as a high-low intonation starting from the left edge of the A-NOT-A predicate. This proposal is supported by a sentence-medial segmental particle in Chinese dialects, which further corroborates the Intonation-Particle Hypothesis by showing that typing particles in non-sentence-final positions are also variants of intonations. Besides, the Mandarin nuclear stress rule derives two prosodic features of A-NOT-A questions: No intonational breaks within the A-NOT-A predicate and de-stressing of the negation word. The two features follow from the requirement that only one intonation is allowed in the nuclear stress domain and instantiate interaction among different stresses.