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LINGUIST List 18.358

Thu Feb 01 2007

Qs: Exaggeration in Mandarin/Grammaticalisation of 'face'

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>


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Directory
        1.    Zhiguo Xie, Semantic Exaggeration in Mandarin
        2.    Sukriye Ruhi, Grammaticalisation of 'face'


Message 1: Semantic Exaggeration in Mandarin
Date: 27-Jan-2007
From: Zhiguo Xie <culinguistgmail.com>
Subject: Semantic Exaggeration in Mandarin


I observe in Mandarin Chinese, the following sentences are grammatical, at
least in some contexts, even when the speaker did buy something from the
supermarket:

(1)wo jintian meimai shenme, (zhi maile dian pingguo)
I today not-buy what, only buy-Perf a bit apples
I bought nothing today, (I only bought some apples)

This contrasts with the ungrammaticality of the following sentence, whose
first clause conflicts with the second one

(2) *I bought nothing; I only bought some apples.

The difference, I guess, is not that the Chinese one is exaggerative while
the English one is not. So I am trying to look at them from a
semantic/pragmatoc perspective. However, I found very little literature on
this phenomenon. I don’t know if someone here knows about any reference on
this topic. Thanks.

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
                            Semantics

Message 2: Grammaticalisation of 'face'
Date: 26-Jan-2007
From: Sukriye Ruhi <sukruhmetu.edu.tr>
Subject: Grammaticalisation of 'face'


Dear Linguists

Does anyone know of languages that have grammatical constructions
incorporating 'face' in the sense of 'human face' or 'surface/side'?

I'm working on the pragmatics of two such forms that have causal meaning in
Turkish. The first functions as a discourse connective and the second as an
adverbial. Their forms/glosses are below (Sorry for the missing Turkish
letter in 'yuz'):

1. bu/o yuz-den
this/that face-ABLATIVE
'on account of this/that; because of this/that'

2. personal pronoun-GENITIVE face-AGREEMENT-ABLATIVE
'because of...; for the sake of...'

I will post a summary if similar grammaticalisations turn up.

Many thanks in advance.

Sukriye

--------
Assoc. Prof. Sukriye Ruhi
Dept. of Foreign Language Education
Faculty of Education
Middle East Technical University
Inonu Blvd.
06531 Ankara, Turkey
email: sukruhmetu.edu.tr

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

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