A Research on Functional Grammar of Chinese  book cover
1st Edition

A Research on Functional Grammar of Chinese

ISBN 9780367422684
Published April 21, 2020 by Routledge
470 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $350.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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. With local Beijing vernacular (Pekingese) as a basis, the information structure and focus structure of the Chinese language are systematically examined. By using written works and recordings from Beijingers, 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 a functional scrutiny while discussion of word classes and their functions creatively combines modern linguistic theories and traditional Chinese linguistic theories. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese linguistics and linguistics in general.

Table of Contents

Volume I

List of figures

List of tables

List of abbreviations

Introduction: corpus and approach


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


Focus structure

4 Word order: object vs. directional complement

5 Word order: object vs. verbal classifier

6 Means for contrastive focus representation


Backgrounding constructions

7 A transitivity interpretation of serial verb constructions in Chinese

8 Imperfective clause "V¿"

9 Zero cataphora of clause subject Bibliography


Volume II

List of figures

List of tables

List of abbreviations



1 Chinese nouns and non-referential expression

2 Referential vs. non-referential: the possessive construction

3 Indefinite objects in ba-sentences

4 Functional extension of the reference category


Grammatical categories

5 Space and time: cognitive basis and functional shifting of word classes

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



View More



Bojiang Zhang is a professor from the Institute of Literature, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently the Editor-in-chief of Literary Review(«¿¿¿¿»). He is also a professor at University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Fudan University and Renmin University of China. He has been working on syntactic theory, functional grammar and discourse analysis of Chinese.

Mei Fang is a professor from the Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. She is currently the Deputy Editor-in-chief of Studies of the Chinese Language ( «¿¿¿¿») and the vice president of Chinese Language Society. She has been working on Chinese grammar and discourse analysis with the functional approach, focusing on the emergent nature of grammatical patterns, pragmaticalization, and grammar in interaction.