|Title:||Causative and Resultative Constructions In Mandarin Chinese: A multiperspectival approach||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Dianyu Li||Update Dissertation|
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|Institution:||Göteborg University, Department of Linguistics|
|Abstract:||This study is an exploration of the causative and resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese, particularly the ba construction. Within the approach of Meaning Determination with Semantic-Epistemic Operations, the meaning of ba is distinguished from that of na (take) and that of jiang (hold up). The word ba is classified as a stance verb in the present study. It can be used to express concrete physical holding and guarding or abstract control. It can also be used metaphorically to express causation. Our classification of ba as a stance verb challenges the serial verb and disposal analyses. The fact that there are similarities between the senses of ba and na as well as the nebulous differences between them has led to ba’s analysis as a serial verb; its connotation of a state of controlling has resulted in the analysis of the subsequent process as `disposal´. We claim that in the ba construction, ba is used either abstractly as in the agentive and experiential senses or metaphorically as in the causative sense. Following Bender (1998, 2000), we regard ba as the syntactic head subcategorizing for a subject, an object and a verbal complement. By analyzing ba’s discourse functions, we provide a pragmatic approach to analyzing complex predicates. The higher predicate verb ba in the ba construction is `light´ in the sense that it denotes a kind of relation, such as causation and control, between the subject and the object as well as the rest of the sentence. This predicate is used to recount a situation which is not marked for aspect, as do permissive, instructive and causative verbs such as shi(make), rang(let) and jiao(order). Due to its role in `recounting´, the predicate ba links to the event that has been recounted to make the recounting complete. This event is expressed by a verbal composite of a process and a resulting state. Since the recount predicate denotes a relational state with an entity as its grammatical object, the event recounted has a control relation to this entity, hence its role as the `co - predicate´. Using Lambrecht’s (1994) idea of focus, I show that the focus of the ba construction can be instantiated into a relational pragmatic category with the focal information nesting in the verbal complement.
Using LFG formalism, I demonstrate that the functional structure is shown as being able to (i) accommodate the grammaticalized information of semantics and pragmatics relevant to the ba construction and (ii) present their relationship in a non-complicated and precise way.
KEY WOEDS: stance verb, polysemy, light verb, complex predicate, verbal complement, focus, Mandarin Chinese ba construction.