Vol. 7:1 (2016) ► pp.23–65
The many faces of adverbial margins
This study analyzes adverbial margins as a functional category in Chinese and, through the analysis, elucidates a graded distinction between subordination and coordination. Adverbial margins, which describe circumstances of situations in sentence nuclei, involve a varying of structural devices, including connectives, nominal forms, aspectually marked verbs, negation, and modality adverbs. The margin-nucleus pairs show varied degrees of subordination. This study takes an initial step towards substantiating and quantifying the gradient distinction. A mechanism of five parameters is proposed to rank margin-nucleus pairs in terms of tightness in clause linkage and subordination. The study contributes to the functional analysis of Chinese and the cross-linguistic discussions of the typology of subordination and coordination.