Author: Zhang, Xue
Title: Lexical triggers for implicit contrastive propositions : the cases of Mandarin benlai, Da+NP+de and others
Advisors: Shi, Dingxu (CBS)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2015
Subject: Chinese language -- Syntax.
Chinese language -- Semantics.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
Pages: 147 pages
Language: English
Abstract: This dissertation proposed a theory of Contrastive Proposition Structure in Chinese Mandarin. Based on the investigation of the main contributions of semantical propositions, suchas entailment, presupposition and implicature, the assumptions of the Proposition Structure were identified. The main sub-issues studied were: (1) the formalization of the structure, (2) the semantic and syntactic properties of the proposition structure, (3) the different types of triggers and the functions they demonstrate in the structure, and (4) the inter-propositional relations between various constituents.A detailed analysis of two triggers was provided. First, the adverbial benlai is an instance of a bare lexical item trigger. Benlai triggers an implicit proposition which contributes a formal structure with the well-formed proposition. According to the theory of T&P Property(Dahl, 1981; Declerck, 1989; Depraetere, 1995), the classification of inter-propositional relations was clarified. The essential relationship under investigation was demonstrating the natures of contrast. Based on this knowledge, the issues of the constraints of contrast and the comparison of contrast (Alatis, 1968; Fisiak, 1991; James, 1980; Krzeszowski, 1990; Nehls,1979)and negation(Gazdar,1979;Haegeman,1995; Thompson, Longacre&Hwang, 1985) were discussed briefly. Furthermore, the adverbial yuanlai was studied as well. The adverbial benlai is an implicit contrastive proposition structure trigger,while yuanlai is a pure time clausemarker.The second example of a trigger was a construction trigger. Da+NP+de has always been treated as a conventional idiom in previous studies. In this dissertation, I investigated the different categories of the readings from Da+NP+de construction. Within the framework of Fuzzy Set Theory (Klaua, 1965; Klir & Yuan, 1995; Zadeh, 1965, 1972), the semantic and syntactic properties of Da+NP+de were illustrated. Meanwhile, the constraints of the time NP and the follow-up proposition indicated the formalization of the entire structure. The relationship between convention (Lewis, 1969; Strawson, 1964) and non-convention was primarily researched. The contrastive pattern built for Da+NP+de was compatible with the benlai case. Based on this analysis, the notion and features of Implicit Contrastive Proposition Structure and its triggers was proposed.To reinforce this theory, the other two structure triggers genben and zhishao were introduced as well. The contrastive feature is a necessary requirement for the Implicit Proposition Structure in Chinese cases and this acknowledgement may contribute to a fresh perspective on the investigation of partial Chinese adverbials and formal constructions.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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