In the two volumes of Prosodic Syntax in Chinese, the author develops a new model, which proposes that the interaction between syntax and prosody is bi-directional and that prosody not only constrains syntactic structures but also activates syntactic operations. All of the facts investigated in Chinese provide new perspectives for linguistic theories as well as insights into the nature of human languages. The subtitles of the two volumes are Theory and Facts and History and Change respectively, with each focusing on different topics (though each volume has both theoretical and historical descriptive concerns).
This book has shown that prosody has played a crucial role in triggering the many changes in the diachronic development of Chinese. On the one hand, this book investigates the existence of SOV structures in Early Archaic Chinese, a SVO language, and then demonstrates the role of VO prosody in causing the disappearance of the remnant structures after the Han Dynasty. On the other hand, this book surveys the historical evidence for analyses of bei passives and Ba-constructions, and then offers a prosodic analysis on the origin of these two sentence patterns in Chinese. It is claimed that prosody can be an important factor in triggering, balancing and finally terminating changes in the syntactic evolution of Chinese.
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations
Preface to the Revised Chinese Edition
Preface to the First Chinese Edition
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Some Relevant Concepts in Prosodic Phonology
Chapter 3 Words and Phrases
Chapter 4 The VP-Prosody: Balance between the Left and the Right
Chapter 5 Prosodically Motivated Syntactic Operations
Feng Shengli is Professor of Chinese Linguistics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include prosodic syntax, poetic prosody, historical syntax and exegesis.