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The Research on the Blending Features of Clausal-Object Constructions in Modern Chinese

Author: WangHua
Tutor: ZhangWangZuo
School: Beijing Language and Culture University
Course: Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: clausal-object constructions blending features weak eventuality blending degree multi-layered blending tolerance anti-blending
CLC: H146.3
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 525
Quote: 4
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Abstract


Within the framework of the grammatical blending theory, this paper investigated the Clausal-Object Constructions, based on which their blending features are discussed and hopefully this will provide some insights into L2 grammar teaching.This paper argues that the clausal-object constructions are formed by means of blending two events. In this process, some features are extracted and meanwhile some new features emerged, all of which are required by grammatical blending. We call this the blending features of clausal-object constructions. Five blending features are as discussed as follows.First, the blending features of the main verb: different verbs require different clausal-objects, thus, according to the formal distinctions of the clausal-objects, verbs are divided into three categories: interrogative verb, declarative verb and combined verb, among which the first category requires an interrogative clausal-object, the second one needs a declarative clausal-object and the last one can be followed by either an interrogative clausal-object or a declarative one. We further classify each verb category into small classes by its semantic features. In general, the blending features of verbs include verb copying, affirmation and negation, tense and aspect, clause types and the extent of the relation between the verb and its clauses.Secondly, the blending features of the clausal-objects: Formally speaking, unmarked sentence patterns like verb predicate sentence tend to become a clausal-object much easier than marked sentence patterns like verb copying structure, ba construction and lian construction; semantically speaking, there are more realistic sentences than subjunctive sentences, more static sentences than dynamic sentences and more non-event structure sentences than event-structure sentences; besides, it exhibits a kind of non-eventuality trend.Thirdly, time features of the clausal-objects: although the two events comprising the clausal-objects have time features, no distinct time features of the clausal-objects are found. However, they do have the ability to have tense and aspect makers, which are demonstrated by the following four patterns: i. neither the matrix clause nor the clause has makers; ii. matrix does but clause dose not; iii. clause does, but matrix does not; and iv. either the matrix or the clause can have markers freely. These four patterns reflect the degree of matrix blending to the clause in that i has the highest blending followed by ii, and the iii and iv have weak blending features. Moreover, the tense and aspect markers are preferentially positioned in clauses when required by time features.Fourthly, features of multilayered blending. Multilayered blending refers to those constructions in which the objects of the object clauses are made up of another clausal object. Their features are exemplified by the tolerance of verbs, which in turn has close relation with objectivity. The more powerful of its tolerance, the more stronger of its objectivity which decreased from the outward to the inward. Besides, there are fewer verb changes in three-layered constructions than in those two-layered constructions, which displays a sort of syntactic iconicity.The last one is the anti-blending features of the discrete clausal-object constructions. Discrete clausal-objects refer to those constructions in which the objects of the clauses are not closely attached to the main verb. The reasons of its emergence are the weakening of the verb control and the enhancing of the extent to which the clauses are paid attention to. The verbs in the discrete sentence have weak meanings and eventually become discourse markers; but the independence of the clauses are on the increase, even have their own tones.

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