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Trove: Find and get Australian resources. Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more. Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar. By Charles N. Li and Sandra A. Thompson. Berkeley: University of California Press. This item:Mandarin Chinese by Charles N. Li Paperback $ .. Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar by Charles N. Li ().
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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Mandarin Chinese by Charles N. Mandarin Chinese: Sandra A. This reference grammar provides, for the first time, a description of the grammar of Mandarin Chinese, the official spoken language of China and Taiwan, in functional terms, focusing on the role and meanings of word-level and sentence-level structures in actual conversations.
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To ask other readers questions about Mandarin Chinese , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Abstract The purpose of this study is to shed light on the neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of pronoun resolution processes by the information status of the antecedent.
Information status was manipulated by using a structurally based constraint e. We found that the pronouns referring to topic entities [the initial noun phrase NP in Subject—Object—Verb SOV structure in Experiment 1 and OSV structure in Experiment 2] elicited attenuated P responses compared to the pronouns referring to non-topic entities the initial NP in SVO structure or the second NP in OSV structure in both experiments when potential interference from structural constraints was controlled.
The linear structural constraint, namely the order of mention, had no clear influence on the P effect when the syntactic structural constraint was held constant i. These findings suggest that pragmatically encoded features such as topichood and givenness can be processed separately from structural constraints such as order of mention to promote the salient status of a referent and thereby facilitate pronoun interpretation.
The information status of a referent can be realized by structural manifestations such as linear order e. In particular, the pragmatic aspect of information status can be assigned through structural manipulations such as word order variation, especially for languages with flexible word orders e.
For example, in a Chinese sentence using the non-canonical Subject—Object—Verb SOV word order, the initial noun phrase NP is typically assigned topic-related features such as aboutness and givenness, which are not typically assigned in the more canonical SVO structure.
The information status of an entity influences its salience in discourse and to some extent determines whether and how it will be referred in subsequent discourse.
A considerable number of studies have found that entities realized in subject position are more likely to be interpreted as the referent of a subsequent pronoun than entities realized in non-subject positions e.
Evidence from reading times showed distinct effects of syntactic role i. The topic of an utterance is regarded as what the utterance is about, denoting shared information i. Although the discourse functions of topic and focus devices may be different, both devices appear to render referents more prominent in discourse Almor, ; Cowles et al.
According to the prominence account of anaphora interpretation e. This is because such referents are more active in memory and thus more available to pronoun resolution processes when a pronoun is encountered Foraker and McElree, In addition, it should be noted that, although pragmatically encoded information status such as topichood is different from structurally based information status such as syntactic role and order of mention, these two sources of constraints often overlap, since the pragmatic status of a referent can be realized by varying the structural sequence e.
Thus, effects of order of mention and topichood would have been difficult to distinguish. Finally, example  illustrates guo as an aspectual marker denoting the experience of eating a certain kind of food. Now that we have seen some instances in which the experiential may be used and some helpful distinctions between different contexts, we might wonder where the experiential guo cannot appear.
The experiential guo rarely occurs in future situations because it conveys a situation that has already been experienced prior to the reference time. Likewise, it cannot occur in imperative sentences. In other words, the repeatability of a situation allows for the use of guo, but there are some situations that may use guo and be intuitively unrepeatable, as in example . In general, however, a non-repeatable situation is not expressed with guo unless it is highly marked.
Example  shows a non-repeatable situation that is incorrectly inflected with guo. Rather, it situates the speaker within the event and makes explicit reference to the internal temporal stages of the situation.
The first sentence, in the simple past tense, denotes the event of making a cake as a complete whole, while the latter, using the progressive, signifies that the speaker has placed themselves at some point during the event of making the cake and makes no reference to the endpoint of the activity. Although English does not have grammaticalized perfectivity and uses only the progressive to express imperfectivity, the contrast between the two sentences serves to convey the conceptual difference between the perfective and the imperfective aspects.
Like English, Mandarin has a grammatically marked progressive aspect. The progressive is considered a sub-type of the imperfective aspectual viewpoint, and it indicates that an action is ongoing from the point in time at which the speaker is viewing the situation. Smith characterizes the progressive imperfective as denoting an interval internal to the situation that does not include reference to the initial or end-points of the situation Smith, The progressive imperfective marker zai is a a prefix attached to the main verb of the verbal predicate.
SVC in Mandarin Chinese (Li & Thompson 1981)
If the predicate is modified by adverbials, they usually precede zai, as shown in example  but adverbial prepositional phrases generally follow zai as shown in example . Zai is also a lexical item that has its own semantic meaning of spatial location and can be used in sentences like  without containing any aspectual significance. Context and inference are used to determine whether zai is used as an aspectual marker or as a lexical morpheme.
Because of this, it is fairly sensitive to lexical aspect, in that it can only be used in situations that are compatible with dynamicity. Thus, the progressive imperfective is usually incompatible with stative situations, because they have no internal temporal structure. Individual level statives say something about a personal property of an individual, while situation level statives say something about the state of a situation.
Examples  and  show an individual level stative that is incompatible with zai and a situation level stative that is compatible with zai. Semelfactive events clapping, knocking, coughing, etc. When zai is used in these situations, as in example  the result is interpreted as an iterative event, where the point-like event is repeated over and over again.
They both refer to the middle of a progressive situation and present durative, continuous situations. They can also co-occur and are sometime interchangeable.
The main difference between the two is that zhe focuses on the continuous, durative, stable nature of a situation, while zai focuses on the progressiveness of the action or event.
Examples  and  demonstrate the difference between zai and zhe. It is important then, to clarify that zhe expresses the continuation of a situation, not the active progression of an event, while still situating the viewpoint of the speaker within the situation. Because the imperfective requires internal temporal stages, the durative imperfective, like the progressive imperfective, cannot be used with individual level stative predicates know, be honest, exist, etc.
It can, however, occur with situation level statives stand, lie, hang, etc. Examples  and  describe the posture of two people while they were reading and the location of two people while they were talking, respectively.
With regards to the interaction between zhe and lexical aspect, we might also note that zhe is incompatible with achievement verbs, because achievements inherently encode the endpoint of a situation, which is characteristic of the perfective viewpoint aspect. Throughout the section, however, there have been references to situation types that interact with and confine the uses of certain aspectual particles.
This section will present a general overview of lexical aspect, summarize the interactions between grammatical and lexical aspect and attempt to contextualize these findings within a broader debate on aspectual systems.
As mentioned previously, investigations into aspect go as far back as Aristotle. Modern accounts, however, usually start with Zeno Vendler, who categorized aspectual distinctions based on lexical verb class.
His four-way model is the basis for most modern discussions of aspect, and included the verb classes: state, activity, accomplishment and achievement. Each of these categories can be described using the features: dynamic, durative, and telic.
The resulting classification schema is shown in Table 1 below. One of her contributions has been to add the class of semelfactive verbs to the schema, as shown in bold on Table 1. This is the schema that I have worked with here, the details of which I will now review. This makes intuitive sense, because the perfective indicates that the situation is viewed as a whole.
The element of telicity is irrelevant for guo because, as discussed in section 2. This implies that the action ended regardless of whether it reached its telic endpoint or not. The notion of experience, too, seems to suggest that some element of duration and change dynamicity be present in order for the experiencer to experience something. The progressive imperfective zai is particularly sensitive to the property of dynamism.
It is expected of the progressive that it be dynamic, and it is characteristic of the imperfective that there is no explicit endpoint mentioned, hence, -telic.
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When used with semelfactives, it denotes repetition. It can occur with accomplishments and achievements, but does so less frequently and even then only in highly qualified sentences.
It can occur with the other lexical categories, but does so less frequently and only in specific circumstances. This essay has sought to analyze the relevant information on aspect in Mandarin Chinese, describe each of the most predominant grammatical markers, and present an overview of the most common interactions between lexical and grammatical aspect.In particular, the P can be divided into early and later subprocesses Barber and Carreiras, ; Molinaro et al.
In addition to functioning as an aspect marker in any of the absolute tenses, le can also demonstrate perfective aspect in imperative and conditional sentences, as shown in examples  and . Lexical aspect is a semantic category that classifies verbs based on inherent properties.
Chandler rated it really liked it Dec 21, In contrast, if Morning newspaper was moved to the front of the verb and after Grandpa, it no longer functions as the sentence topic 2 but rather as the object of the sentence. She introduces each grammatical topic clearly and simply, offers sample sentences in Chinese characters and Pinyin followed by English translations , discusses existing exceptions to a particular rule, and provides exercises that students can use to reinforce the lesson.