The interaction between demonstratives and relative clauses – a view from Mandarin

I-Ta Chris Hsieh, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

A demonstrative such as that and those may have various uses, be it deictic, anaphoric, or purely descriptive. One of the approaches to demonstratives, namely the Hidden Argument Theory (henceforth, HAT) approach (e.g., King 2001, Blumberg 2020, Nowak 2021, Ahn 2022; a.o.,), is intended to provide a unified account of these uses. In the HAT approach, a demonstrative, unlike a definite article (e.g., the), carries two restrictions; in one recent variant of this approach, namely Ahn (2022, Ling & Phil), the various uses of a demonstrative description are due to the different options to contribute the second restriction, including a deictic demonstration, an index, and a relative clause that adjoins to the demonstrative phrase. In this talk, I examine the interaction between demonstratives and relative clauses and show that current analyses along with the HAT approach could yield some undesirable predictions. Some amendments will be suggested to accurately capture the interpretation of a demonstrative description with a relative clause and at the same time avoid these predictions.