Date: 05-Oct-2005 From: Paul Peranteau <paulbenjamins.com> Subject: Dramatized Discourse: Jing-Schmidt
Title: Dramatized Discourse
Subtitle: The Mandarin Chinese ba-construction
Series Title: Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 56
Publisher: John Benjamins
Author: Zhuo Jing-Schmidt, University of Cologne
Hardback: ISBN: 9027215650 Pages: xxii, 337 Price: U.S. $ 156.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9027215650 Pages: xxii, 337 Price: Europe EURO 130.00
Language is a symbolic system of meanings evoked by linguistic forms. The choice of forms in communication is non-arbitrary. Rather, speakers pick those forms whose meanings best convey their discourse intention. The meaning of the Mandarin ba-construction, argues Jing-Schmidt, is discourse dramaticity, a concept that includes high conceptual salience and subjectivity. The ba-construction and its "syntactic variations" are never interchangeable because contrast in their meanings determines difference in their functions. Quantitative analyses based on authentic data validate the postulation of discourse dramaticity. By taking discourse pragmatics seriously, the dramaticity hypothesis enables a unitary explanation that transcends sentence grammar.
The diachronic treatment reveals the syntactic change of the ba-construction as an adaptive process of pragmatization, which raises the issue of linguistic evolution as a result of socio-cultural development.
This book will be of particular value to readers interested in the interaction between grammar and pragmatics and to teachers confronting the controversy of the ba-construction in foreign language pedagogy.
Table of contents
Preface xi-xii Acknowledgements xiii-xv List of Figures and Tables xvii-xviii Notational Conventions xix Abbreviations xxi-xxii 1. Introduction 1-11 2. Database 13-15 3. The syntax of the ba-construction: Overview 17-66 4. Previous approaches 67-112 5. The hypothesis of discourse dramaticity 113-124 6. Cognitive salience as discourse dramaticity 125-210 7. Subjectivity and emotionality as discourse dramaticity 211-240 8. An interim conclusion 241-244 9 The pragmatization of the ba-construction: An adaptive change 245-295 10. Final remarks 297-300 Notes 301-307 References 309-326 Text material 327 Author index 329-331 Subject index 333-337