One prominent function of natural language is to convey information. One peculiarity is that it does not do so randomly, but in a structured way, with information structuring formally recognized to be a component of grammar. Among all information structuring notions, focus is one primitive needed to account for all phenomena.
Focus Manifestation in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese: A Comparative Perspective aims to examine from a semantic perspective how syntactic structures and focus adverbs in Mandarin Chinese and semantic particles in Cantonese conspire to encode focus structures and determine focus manifestation in Chinese. With both as tonal languages, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese manifest different morpho-syntactic configurations to mark focus. A general principle governing focus marking in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese is given in the book, which aims to give a better understanding on the underlying principles the two used to mark additive and restrictive meanings, and related focus interpretations. Particular attention is also drawn to the co-occurrence of multiple forms of restrictive and additive particles in Cantonese, including adverbs, verbal suffixes and sentence-final particles. Linearity has shown to be an important parameter to determine how focus is structured in Cantonese.
This book is aimed at advanced graduate students, researchers and scholars working on Chinese linguistics, syntax and semantics, and comparative dialectal grammar.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Theoretical Background
2.1 Association with Focus
2.2 Syntax-semantics Mapping of Focus
4. The Meaning of Focus Particles in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese: An Overview
4.1 Additives and Restrictives in Mandarin
4.2 Additives and Restrictives in Cantonese
Chapter Three: Additive Focus Particles
2.1 Additive Focus Adverbs you ‘again’, ye ‘also’, hai ‘still’ and zai ‘again’
2.2 A Comparison of Mandarin Additive Adverbs with their Cantonese Counterparts
3.1.1 A Brief Description of Cantonese sentence-final Particle tim1 ‘add’
3.1.2 Tim1 ‘add’ Requires an Upward Movement on the Scale
3.2.1 A Brief Introduction of Cantonese Additive Adverb gau3 ‘enough
3.2.2 Two Conditions Governing the Occurrence of gau3 ‘enough’
3.2.3 Interpretation of "gau3…SFPassert": 75
A Twofold Semantics of "gau3…SFPassert"
3.2.4 Determination of the Contrasting Point and
the Decrease Reading of the Predicate
3.2.5 A Comparison between gau3 ‘enough’ and dou1 ‘even/also’
3.3 Additive Verbal Suffix –maai4 ‘also’
Chapter Four: Restrictive Focus Particles
3. Cantonese Restrictive Sentence-final Particles zaa3 ‘only’ and ze1 ‘only’
3.1 Previous Analyses of Cantonese Restrictive SFPs zaa3 ‘only’ and ze1 ‘only’
3.2 Reanalyzing zaa3 ‘only’ and ze1 ‘only’ under
the Relativist Semantic Theory
3.3 A Comparison of zaa3 ‘only’ and ze1 ‘only’ with Mandarin cai ‘only’/
jiu ‘only’ and Cantonese adverb sin1 ‘then’
4. Cantonese Restrictive Verbal Suffix –dak1 ‘only’
4.1 Previous Analyses of -dak1 ‘only’
4.2 Unresolved Issues of –dak1 ‘only’
4.3 A Unified Account to –dak1 ‘only’
4.3.1 The Role of Syntax in Affixal Quantification
4.3.2 Selectional Restrictions of –dak1 ‘only’
4.4 Focused Readings of –dak1
5. Restrictive Adverbs in Cantonese
6. What Restrictive Particles and Additives Particles in Mandarin Chinese and
Cantonese Can Tell You?
6.1 Restrictive Particles in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese
6.2 Generalizing Focus Marking in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese
Chapter Five: Distribution of Additives and Restrictives in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese
and tim1 ‘add’
3.2 A Comparison with Mandarin dou ‘even/also’, ye ‘also’ and hai ‘still’
3.3 The Division of labor among Mandarin and Cantonese additives
4. Co-occurrence of restrictives in Mandarin and Cantonese and the linearity principle
5. Distribution of restrictive adverbs and post-verbal particles in Mandarin
6. Deriving a general principle of focus marking in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese
6.1 Shi…(de) construction in Mandarin --- the role of syntax in focus marking
6.2 Generalizing a General Principle of focus marking in Mandarin Chinese
Chapter Six: Conclusions: Theoretical Consequences and Implications
1. Summary of Major Findings
2. Revisiting the General Principle of Focus Marking in Mandarin and Cantonese:
What Does it Imply?
2.1 A Matter of Interface --- Cantonese vs. Mandarin 208
2.2 Linearity in focus interpretation in Cantonese
3. More on the Role of Syntax in Focus Manifestation in Mandarin and Cantonese
4. Future Research
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