Information sequencing in Modern Standard Chinese
The hypothesis presented in this paper is that the sequence of ‘modifier-modified’ is a fundamental unit of sequencing in Modern Standard Chinese (MSC). It is shown that this sequencing unit extends beyond word pairs such as adjective-noun to sentences with complex clauses and also that it constitutes a fundamental principle of sequencing at discourse and text levels. Examples of ‘modifier—modified’ sequencing (also called ‘because—therefore’ sequencing) occurring at levels of the complex sentence, extended spoken discourse and written text are provided. These examples are taken from naturally occurring MSC data.
A discussion concerning the implications of the differences in information sequencing between MSC and English in the fields of cross-cultural communication and language teaching concludes the paper.
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