Research on iconicity and word order in Mandarin Chinese (henceforth MC) investigates the correlation between the sequence of linguistic elements in the sentence and the temporal, spatial, and causal characteristics of the events they describe. Such correlations are captured through a number of organizational principles, generally referred to in the literature as conceptual or cognitive word order principles. Among the most significant principles are the principle of temporal sequence, the principle of temporal scope and that of whole-before-part. Conceptual principles are of great interest for several reasons: first, they exhibit an iconic nature and show how and to what extent MC word order (henceforth WO) mirrors both universal and culture-specific conceptualizations of space, time and cause-effect logical relations. As such, they are easy to understand and remember, thus providing interesting applications to MC language instruction. Moreover, according to Tai (1985, 1989, 1993), Ho (1993), Hu (1995) and Loar (2011) among others, such principles bear great explanatory power in that they underlie several seemingly unrelated syntactic patterns and constructions. This chapter provides an introduction to organizational principles underlying MC word order, with a specific focus on conceptual (or cognitive) principles, such as the Principle of Temporal Sequence (PTS) and that of Whole-Before- Part (WBP). Specifically, it presents (i) the theoretical approach they are grounded in, (ii) their potential in language description, as compared to grammatical rules, and (iii) their applications to language acquisition and discourse analysis. These principles are shown to operate both at the micro-levels of phrase and clause and at higher levels of discourse and text. The discussion avails itself of natural language in use; unless otherwise specified, all examples are drawn from corpora, such as the PKU corpus of Modern Mandarin Chinese, Peking University or Ho’s corpus of spontaneous spoken texts (Ho 1993: 14-6).

Conceptual word order principles and Mandarin Chinese grammar

Anna Morbiato
2019-01-01

Abstract

Research on iconicity and word order in Mandarin Chinese (henceforth MC) investigates the correlation between the sequence of linguistic elements in the sentence and the temporal, spatial, and causal characteristics of the events they describe. Such correlations are captured through a number of organizational principles, generally referred to in the literature as conceptual or cognitive word order principles. Among the most significant principles are the principle of temporal sequence, the principle of temporal scope and that of whole-before-part. Conceptual principles are of great interest for several reasons: first, they exhibit an iconic nature and show how and to what extent MC word order (henceforth WO) mirrors both universal and culture-specific conceptualizations of space, time and cause-effect logical relations. As such, they are easy to understand and remember, thus providing interesting applications to MC language instruction. Moreover, according to Tai (1985, 1989, 1993), Ho (1993), Hu (1995) and Loar (2011) among others, such principles bear great explanatory power in that they underlie several seemingly unrelated syntactic patterns and constructions. This chapter provides an introduction to organizational principles underlying MC word order, with a specific focus on conceptual (or cognitive) principles, such as the Principle of Temporal Sequence (PTS) and that of Whole-Before- Part (WBP). Specifically, it presents (i) the theoretical approach they are grounded in, (ii) their potential in language description, as compared to grammatical rules, and (iii) their applications to language acquisition and discourse analysis. These principles are shown to operate both at the micro-levels of phrase and clause and at higher levels of discourse and text. The discussion avails itself of natural language in use; unless otherwise specified, all examples are drawn from corpora, such as the PKU corpus of Modern Mandarin Chinese, Peking University or Ho’s corpus of spontaneous spoken texts (Ho 1993: 14-6).
Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3701947
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