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A Contrastive Study on Ergative Pairs in English and Chinese

Author: LiJuan
Tutor: ZhangQuan
School: Southeast University
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: Comparative study Pairs ergative verbs Syntactic and semantic analysis
CLC: H314
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2006
Downloads: 365
Quote: 1
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Abstract


Ergative verb is a class of verbs, verbs behavior affect verb subject verb subject is Patient. Ergative verb grammatical phenomena by Perlmutter unaccusative hypothesis first explicit reference to the assumption that the intransitive verb can be further divided into unergative verbs and unaccusative verbs two categories. Unaccusative verbs, as the name suggests, is the verb can not access the object, this is because such verbs in the deep structure only takes an object, not the subject. As a the unaccusative verbs subset for grid verb refers to the corresponding transitive verb. Therefore pairs ergative verb refers to the two forms of the transitive and intransitive verbs. Western field of linguistics phenomenon Ergative three decades of research, compared with the West to complete a long-term study, the relatively immature and short-term Chinese language and academic study of ergative verbs. English-Chinese pairs based on the Western linguistics mature means of syntax and vocabulary linguistics, this paper, through the collection of a relatively complete target language data, for grid verb comparative analysis, aimed at enriching the cross-language study for grid verb. The Ergative structures syntactic encoding, semantic decision a grammatical phenomena, syntactic and semantic analysis based on the study of this theory into two aspects. This paper first introduces the ergative syntactic features alternating English and Chinese ergative alternately characteristics can be summarized as three points: (a) the verb argument changes; subject of the corresponding object intransitive structure (b) physical structure; (c) retention of thematic roles within argument. Ergative structure characterized by giving more prominence to identify similarities and differences, through the comparison of the lattice structure, the passive structure and dynamic structure. Finally, this study two languages ​​pairs to origin direction for grid verb found ergative verb (ergative intransitive) are derived from ergative transitive verb. First of semantics for three semantic properties closely related to grid verb: state change agent and end points. Classification and Discrimination found that the external causing and spontaneous joint decision ergative verb semantic properties. Based on a relatively complete verb collected Chinese pairs ergative verbs can be divided into the following three categories: external causative verbs, body movement behavior verbs, the joint verbs, which acts verbs of body movements and joint verbs unique Chinese 's. English existential verb and the Chinese kept the current sentence, the verb represent only dominant unaccusative phenomenon. Comparative studies show that above in English and Chinese ergative verbs English-Chinese pairs ergative the verb syntactic features similar semantic features, there are some differences. The comparative study of some inspiration to the English as a Second Language Acquisition.

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