1st Edition

Research on Functional Grammar of Chinese I Information Structure and Word Ordering Selection

By Bojiang Zhang, Mei Fang Copyright 2020
    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    268 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of abbreviations

    Introduction: corpus and approach

    PART 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


    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




    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.