Erlewine, Michael Yoshitaka, 2010.
“Sentence-final only and the interpretation of focus in Mandarin Chinese.”
The Proceedings of the 22nd North American Conference of Chinese Linguistics (NACCL 22) and the 18th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL 18), pages 18–35.
In this paper I document the complex interactions between the Mandarin sentence-final only item éryǐ and the focus marker shì. Following work on Chinese Sentence-Final Particles (SFP), éryǐ syntactically is in the CP-domain and thus should scope above TP-level operators such as negation, and this is indeed normally the case. However, the introduction of the focus marker shì can force the sentence-final éryǐ to take scope below the TP-level negation, creating a problem for the theory of Mandarin SFP.
I propose that shì unambiguously marks the semantic scope of Mandarin focus-sensitive operators which involve Association With Focus. I show how this analysis preserves the expected syntactic cartography while computing the correct semantic scope. A compositional syntax/semantics utilizing focus movement is also presented.
This analysis is superseded by that in “Low sentence-final particles in Mandarin Chinese and the Final-over-Final Constraint” in JEAL