|The interaction between speaker-oriented adverbs and sentence final particles in Mandarin Chinese : a corpus-based approach
|Shi, Dingxu (CBS)
|Chinese language -- Particles.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
|165 pages : color illustrations
|This dissertation aims at providing a semantic and pragmatic analysis on sentence final particle--ne in Mandarin Chinese. Under the framework of Zhu's (1982) classification and Rizzi's (1997) Split-CP hypothesis, we believe final particles in Chinese occupies different layers within the CP domain, The outmost layer of ne is used to express speaker's attitude and evaluation towards the propositional content. At the same time, we find a specific type of adverbs, namely, speaker-oriented adverb, encoding speaker's attitude information as well. Corpus data also prove that co-occurrence of speaker-oriented adverbs and sentence final particles are not random, in a sense that co-occurrence of certain type of adverbs final particle ne is quite frequent. The top three adverbs are qishi, guaibude and shenzhi. Our preliminary observation proves that ne is used to mark new, unexpected information and should be used under intersubjective context, the speaker's belief and intention, including speaker's belief and intention towards the hearer characterizes the usages of sentence final particle ne. Speaker-oriented adverb shenzhi indicates that the following constituents are at the endpoints of the scale in that they are the least likely to be true, hence its being true is unexpected. Guaibude is used to mark speaker's sudden realization of causality, this causal relation either is unexpected for the speaker or for the hearer from the speaker's view. Qishi is used fundamentally to mark the contrastive relation, and this relation is contrary to the speaker or the hearer previous expectation as well. Our research proves that these seemingly disparate adverbs do have one thing in common: they all mark some unexpected information, and the high frequency of co-occurrence of theses adverbs with ne is justified. Since the meaning and usage of sentence final particles is difficult to pin down, our research opens a new window by exploring the interaction between final particles and speaker-oriented adverbs. Hopefully our research will motivate future research on other final particles both in Chinese and cross-linguistically.
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