Contextualized Existential Constructions in Mandarin Chinese

Pei-Jung Kuo 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1National Chiayi University
Corresponding Author:Professor Department of Foreign Languages National Chiayi University No.85, Wunlong Village, Minsyong Township, Chiayi County, Taiwan E-mail:

ⓒ Copyright 2022 Language Education Institute, Seoul National University. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jul 26, 2022 ; Revised: Oct 02, 2022 ; Accepted: Nov 07, 2022

Published Online: Dec 31, 2022


This paper proposes that in addition to the typical “out-of-the-blue” existential construction, a kind of contextualized existential construction exists in Mandarin Chinese. This form does not exhibit the predicate restriction observed in typical existential constructions cross-linguistically. It is argued that this type of existential construction involves a topic-comment structure and functions as a subtype of the Existential Coda Construction discussed by Zhang (2007, 2008). The current analysis also explains the apparent lack of a definiteness restriction for specific Mandarin Chinese existential constructions.

Keywords: existential construction; information structure; topic; predicate restriction; definiteness restriction



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