Prosodic Syntax in Chinese: Theory and Facts, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Prosodic Syntax in Chinese

Theory and Facts, 1st Edition

By Feng Shengli


312 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138578913
pub: 2019-05-15
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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



About the Author

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.

About the Series

Chinese Linguistics

Chinese Linguistics series selects representative and frontier works in linguistic disciplines including lexicology, grammar, phonetics, dialectology, philology and rhetoric. Mostly published in Chinese before, the selection has had far-reaching influence on China’s linguistics and offered inspiration and reference for the world’s linguistics. The aim of this series is to reflect the general level and latest development of Chinese linguistics from an overall and objective view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax