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A Contrastive Study of Thematic Roles of Displacement Verbs in English and Chinese

Author: HuangZiTian
Tutor: ShuangWenTing
School: Wuhan University of Science and Technology
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: displacement Verb thematic role theory machine translation teaching Chinese as aforeign language
CLC: H314
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 46
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Displacement verb study is of significance from multiple angles:From syntactic and semantic point of view, many scholars consider that the most importantproblem in English and Chinese Grammar Study is verb and its relative sentence pattern. Thecorresponding relationship between semantic component and syntactic component is animportant grammar project; from a cognitive perspective, space concept is the most fundamentalconcept and displacement verb is subordinate to it. The study of displacement verb is meaningful;from the angle of application, the study has important value in language application. The numberof modern English and Chinese displacement verb is considerable and it is rich in its usage. Westart from making an overall investigation on semantics which restrains syntax to resolve verbs’syntactic performance and the use of relative components so that we can deduce complexity intosimplicity.The dissertation studies displacement verb based on the language facts to explore thestandards of displacement verb definition and classification. The nature of displacement is thetransfer of displacement force and the object’s move under the influence of it. We expound theproperty and syntax and semantics characteristics of displacement force, agent, theme andposition which are closely related with displacement force-the kernel in displacement. We makethe distinction between displacement and non-displacement verb, divide displacement verb into self-displacement verb,non-self-displacement verb and co-displacement verb and list space verbform. We elaborate on their characteristics of syntax and semantics respectively.Similarities and difference have been made after a comparison of English and Chinesedisplacement verb under thematic role theory. Their common features of verbs of displacementin English and Chinese are:1) Literal displacement and Metaphorical displacement;2) Thematicrole theory on subject;3) Thematic role’s cognitive guidance on syntactic structure;4) Variousthematic roles of the same displacement verb;5) Thematic Role Theory on verbs’ synonym. Thedistinctive features of verbs of displacement in English as Against in Chinese are:1) Differencesin Verbal Semantic Components;2) Differences in Thematic Roles Governed by Verbs.The fruit can be applied into Machine Translation and Teaching Chinese as a ForeignLanguage. Firstly, analysis is made on English and Chinese displacement verbs’ meaning bymeaning components analysis theory; secondly, their similarities and differences are to be foundby thematic role theory. In this way, we can do translation among languages and can teachstudents how to tell differences among words which are similar in their meanings.

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