The functional perspective on Chinese syntax has yielded various new achievements since its introduction to Chinese linguistics in the 1980s.
This two-volume book is one of the earliest and most influential works to study the Chinese language using functional grammar. Using local Beijing vernacular as a basis, the information structure and focus structure of the Chinese language are systematically examined. By using written works and recordings from Pekingese, the authors discuss topics such as the relationship between word order and focus and the distinction between normal focus and contrastive focus.
In addition, the authors also subject the reference and grammatical categories of the Chinese language to scrutiny while discussion of word classes and their functions creatively combine modern linguistic theory and traditional Chinese linguistic theory. This book will be of interest for students and scholars of Chinese linguistics and linguistics in general.
Introduction: Corpus and Approach. I: Information Structure. 1. Thematic Structure of Spoken Pekingese. 2. Thematic Structure in Narration: Sentence-middle Modal Particles. 3. Thematic Structure in Conversation: An Analysis of Translocation. II: Focus Structure. 4. Word Order: Object vs. Directional Complement. 5. Word Order: Object vs. Verbal Classifier. 6. Means for Contrastive Focus Representation. III: Backgrounding Constructions. 7. A Transitivity Interpretation of Serial Verb Constructions in Chinese. 8. Imperfective Clause "V着". 9. Zero Cataphora of Clause Subject
I: Reference. 1. Chinese Nouns and Nonreferential Expression. 2. Referential vs. Nonreferential: The Possessive Construction. 3. Indefinite Objects in Ba-sentences. 4. Functional Extension of the Reference Category. II: Grammatical Categories. 5. Space and Time: Cognitive Basis and Functional Shifting of Word Classe. 6. Rhetorical Conversion and Grammatical Conversion. 7. Scope and Hierarchies of Qualitative Adjectives. 8. Predicate Adjectives in Modern Chinese. 9. Grammaticalization of the Tentative Category
The China Perspectives series focuses on translating and publishing works by leading Chinese scholars, writing about both global topics and China-related themes. It covers Humanities & Social Sciences, Education, Media and Psychology, as well as many interdisciplinary themes.
This is the first time that any of these books have been translated into English for international readers. The series aims to put forward a Chinese perspective, give insights into cutting-edge academic thinking in China, and inspire researchers globally.