Chinese Grammar at Work by Shuanfan Huang

By Shuanfan Huang

Chinese Grammar at Work adopts a cognitive-functional technique and makes use of a corpus-based technique to check how chinese language syntax emerges from normal discourse context and what the evolving grammar at paintings appears like. during this quantity the writer weaves jointly an array of unpolluted views on clause constitution, buildings, interactional linguistics, cognitive technological know-how and complicated dynamic platforms to build a grammar of spoken chinese language. the quantity includes discussions of a big variety of issues: contiguity relation, the jobs of fix innovations within the shaping of constituent constitution, non-canonical be aware order structures, pragmatics of referring expressions, classifier structures, noun-modifying buildings, verb complementation, ethnotheory of the individual and structures particular to the language of emotion, sequential sensitivity of linguistic fabrics, that means capability in interplay, the character of variability and balance in chinese language syntax from the point of view of complexity concept. the result's a quantity that highlights the connections among language constitution, located and embodied nature of cognition and language use, and gives a real entrée to the fascinating realm of chinese language grammar.

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Paragraph? content of active consciousness Figure 1. Topic Hierarchy The relationships among IU, extended sentence, basic-level topic and paragraph may be diagrammed as in Figure 1 (cf. Chafe 1994: 137-145). The following excerpt of a Chinese pear story narrated by a female college student contains 41 IUs divisible into four paragraph-like segments, marked by a straight line across, and each segment is arguably further divisible into one, two or more basiclevel topics. The first three IUs constitute a paragraph, IU 4 through 16 another paragraph, IU 17 through 20 still another paragraph.

Reactive token 12. 5 5 10 4 100 Table 1 shows that there was an unmistakable tendency for single intonation units to correspond to grammatical units. Full clauses, elliptical clauses, multi-clauses, VPs, NPs, connectives, PPs, adverbials, reactive tokens and discourse markers, as independent IUs, are all grammatical units and these together with the grammatical unit termed ‘cls-’ in Table 1 (see below) comprise 88% of the IUs. Only clause fragments, VP fragments, NP fragments, pause fillers and a very small number of other miscellaneous products called ‘Others’ in Table 1 are not recognized as syntactic units in traditional grammar.

Suspension delivery hiatus resumption delivery 1. Silent pause 2. Pause filler 3. Lengthening 4. Truncation 5. Editing expression 6. Combinations of above 7. g. thinking face) A sampled five-minute two-party conversation shows that function words account for nearly all the words that occur at suspension points. Table 4 gives the distribution of various types of function words at suspension points. Different connectives often signal that the speaker is casting about for different types of target phrases.

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