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A Study on De Construction Within the Framework of Minimalist Program

Author: HeXi
Tutor: LiBaiQing
School: Central South University
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: de construction Minimalist Program light verb syntacticderivation
CLC: H146
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 34
Quote: 0
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Abstract


As a special construction in Chinese, de construction has drawn the attention of many linguists because its form is perplexing. They have studied this construction from the angles of semantics, syntax and pragmatics, and have made great achievements, which help people have a deep understanding of it. Previous syntactic studies mainly focus on the components of the construction independently. As a result, none of these studies can offer a panorama of this construction and give a reasonable explanation of its variants.A new perspective is provided by means of Minimalist Program, in the light of which this thesis probes into the classification of de construction and makes a reanalysis of the derivation of its variants.De construction is classified according to the following three patterns:DP+V+de+XP, DP1+V1+de+DP2+XP, and DP1+V1+DP2+V1+de+XP. Based on the semantic features, the first pattern is sub-divided into causative construction and descriptive construction. The second pattern consists of bi-functional constituent construction and verb-complement construction, which can be further divided by virtue of the interrelation between the internal components. The third pattern is realized in two forms:DP1+V1+DP2+V1+de+AP/VP2and DP1+V1+DP2+V1+de+DP3+ VP2. The author believes that de in de construction is a light verb with causativeness meaning, which can be initiated in the derivation. Due to the light verb de, the following sub-patterns are causative:the causative construction of DP+V+de+XP, most variants of DP1+V1+de+DP2+XP, and DP1+V1+DP2+V1+de+DP3+VP2. The XP in causative constructions originates in the lower VP, which initiates the causative meaning of de, while the XP in non-causative constructions is generated together with the projection of the light verb, and the causative meaning of de is not initiated.The present study can validate the explanation power of MP, and provide some instructions regarding the understanding of de construction and the teaching of this construction in teaching Chinese as a foreign language.

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CLC: > Language, writing > Chinese > Grammar > Modern,modern syntax
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