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postgraduate thesis: The syntax-semantics interface of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese

TitleThe syntax-semantics interface of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chow, P. [周佩倫]. (2012). The syntax-semantics interface of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5043448
Abstract This thesis focuses on a special type of construction in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese long discussed in the literature, namely resultative constructions. The interest of the study lies in the fact that resultative constructions involve an interesting mismatch phenomenon of the mapping of grammatical functions and semantic roles. Since grammatical functions and semantic roles are the building blocks of syntax and semantics, the mapping between grammatical functions and semantic roles is considered a manifestation of the syntactic and semantic interface and it is believed that the study of the mapping between them will shed light on the form and meaning association found inhuman language. However, while an adequate mapping theory can reflect how human experience or meaning is expressed in language, the mapping between grammatical functions and semantic roles is neither linear nor mutually correspondent on a one-to-one basis, rendering the nature of its mechanism obscure. In this thesis, the interface between the semantic and syntactic realizations of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese will be investigated. The goal is to seek an optimal approach which can provide a more satisfactory account in handling mapping of Mandarin and Cantonese resultatives and explaining the special properties of the V-V structures involved in Mandarin and Cantonese resultative constructions. Drawing from the insights of previous accounts and the properties of resultative constructions, a working definition for resultatives is proposed. Through reviewing some current mapping accounts and revealing their inadequacies and limitations in handling grammatical functions and semantic roles mapping in resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, I am going to argue that Jackendoff’s (1990) conceptual semantics approach provides an optimal structure for the representation of resultative compounds in particular and the resultative constructions in general in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. I also want to argue that the investigation of the resultative constructions in Mandarin and Cantonese not only sheds light on the prospect of applying Jackendoff’s (1990) conceptual semantics approach to understanding other types of constructions and special phenomena in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, but also indicates a new direction of study in the possible multiple sense involved in Mandarin and Cantonese compounds.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectGrammar, Comparative and general - Resultative constructions.
Mandarin dialects.
Cantonese dialects.
Dept/ProgramLinguistics
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/184261

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorBodomo, AB-
dc.contributor.advisorLam, OSC-
dc.contributor.authorChow, Pui-lun.-
dc.contributor.author周佩倫.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-06-29T15:46:28Z-
dc.date.available2013-06-29T15:46:28Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationChow, P. [周佩倫]. (2012). The syntax-semantics interface of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5043448-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/184261-
dc.description.abstract This thesis focuses on a special type of construction in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese long discussed in the literature, namely resultative constructions. The interest of the study lies in the fact that resultative constructions involve an interesting mismatch phenomenon of the mapping of grammatical functions and semantic roles. Since grammatical functions and semantic roles are the building blocks of syntax and semantics, the mapping between grammatical functions and semantic roles is considered a manifestation of the syntactic and semantic interface and it is believed that the study of the mapping between them will shed light on the form and meaning association found inhuman language. However, while an adequate mapping theory can reflect how human experience or meaning is expressed in language, the mapping between grammatical functions and semantic roles is neither linear nor mutually correspondent on a one-to-one basis, rendering the nature of its mechanism obscure. In this thesis, the interface between the semantic and syntactic realizations of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese will be investigated. The goal is to seek an optimal approach which can provide a more satisfactory account in handling mapping of Mandarin and Cantonese resultatives and explaining the special properties of the V-V structures involved in Mandarin and Cantonese resultative constructions. Drawing from the insights of previous accounts and the properties of resultative constructions, a working definition for resultatives is proposed. Through reviewing some current mapping accounts and revealing their inadequacies and limitations in handling grammatical functions and semantic roles mapping in resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, I am going to argue that Jackendoff’s (1990) conceptual semantics approach provides an optimal structure for the representation of resultative compounds in particular and the resultative constructions in general in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. I also want to argue that the investigation of the resultative constructions in Mandarin and Cantonese not only sheds light on the prospect of applying Jackendoff’s (1990) conceptual semantics approach to understanding other types of constructions and special phenomena in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, but also indicates a new direction of study in the possible multiple sense involved in Mandarin and Cantonese compounds.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50434482-
dc.subject.lcshGrammar, Comparative and general - Resultative constructions.-
dc.subject.lcshMandarin dialects.-
dc.subject.lcshCantonese dialects.-
dc.titleThe syntax-semantics interface of resultative constructions in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5043448-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLinguistics-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5043448-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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