PhD & Post-doc Projects

Project: Understanding wh-indeterminates in Mandarin

PhD student: Yang Yang
Supervisors: Niels Schiller and Lisa Cheng

Wh-words in Mandarin (as in Japanese and Korean) can have interrogative, existential, universal, or free choice interpretations and are termed “wh-indeterminates”.
To better understand wh-indeterminates, we first investigate the prosodic properties of them and the role prosody plays in disambiguating the question and non-question interpretations. Then we investigate them from the perspective of perception, with both gating paradigm and eye-tracking. Also we investigate the on-line processing of wh-indeterminates with the ERP paradigm taking both contexts and prosody into consideration. Finally, we extend a rule/hypothesis on syntax-prosody interface of Mandarin.