Family of Chinese BA-construction - A Cognitive Approach

Cheng, Qianwen (2018) Family of Chinese BA-construction - A Cognitive Approach. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Chinese BA-constructions vary greatly in syntactic structure, semantic structure and the verb-construction relations. Although many studies of BA-constructions have previously been carried out, quite a few problems still persist. Many types of problem BA-constructions, thus, are still a big challenge to theoretical models of general linguistics.

The research has been conducted with the focus on the verb-construction relations in two aspects – i.e. the internal structure of BA-constructions and the interrelations of BA-construction variants.

In the first aspect, a new cognitive event frame has been developed on the basis of the related approaches including the construction grammar by Goldberg (1995, 2006, 2010, 2013), the event frame and its windowing-gapping organisations by Talmy (2000) and conceptual semantics by Jackendoff (1983, 1987, 1990). My original model differs from all these related approaches in the sense that it simultaneously contains the gapped sub-events and the peripheral elements so as to account for the problem BA-constructions, such as unmatched BA-constructions and verbless BA-constructions, to which all the other approaches are inapplicable.

In the second aspect, BA-constructions also vary along with their verb-construction relations. The variants of BA-constructions are taken as a family represented within the network of specificity. These variants most highly attract different verbs. These verbs and their BA-constructions all share the two types of semantic compatibility. However, to associate the verb meaning with the constructional meaning of the unmatched BA-constructions, some gapped sub-events and peripheral elements are indispensable to mediate the verb meaning and the constructional meaning.

The potion principle I have proposed within the network is found to make a correct prediction of the correspondence between the token-frequency and the degree of specificity of BA-construction. Within this network, the typicality and distributions of BA-construction variants are adequately accounted for in the raw-frequency statistical analysis. Their verb-construction relations are studied in the collostructional analysis. The typical member of the BA-construction family, thus, is found to be the caused-motion BA-construction with the transitive postverb or the postverbal preposition.

In all, my study has made some original contributions to both the area of Chinese Language study and the area of Cognitive Linguistics, particular in the areas of Cognitive Construction Grammar and cognitive semantics.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
T100 Chinese studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2019 16:02
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 22:22

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