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
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 bǎ-sentences
4 Functional extension of the reference category
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
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（《文学评论》). 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 ( 《中国语文》) 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.