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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Dramatized Discourse
Subtitle: The Mandarin Chinese ba-construction
Written By: Zhuo Jing-Schmidt
Series Title: Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 56

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

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027215650
ISBN-13: 9789027215659
Pages: xxii, 337
Prices: U.S. $ 176
Europe EURO 130.00