Deriving the bei-construction in Mandarin Chinese

Jen Ting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


This article proposes that the bei-construction, a typical passive construction in Mandarin Chinese, is not derived in a uniform fashion; rather, three types of bei-sentences must be recognized. The main distinction is made between those involving A-movement, like English passives, and those involving a null operator, like the tough-construction and the Complement Deletion Construction in English. The third type involves a lexical passive compound verb. Support for this claim comes from investigation of the facts regarding licensing of a post-verbal overt pronominal object, locality effects, the occurrence of the particle suo in the bei-construction, and the intervention of adverbs within the bei-V sequence. This article also shows the problems in previous analyses that derive the bei-construction from the same underlying structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-354
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of East Asian Linguistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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