Dramatized Discourse

The Mandarin Chinese ba-construction

| University of Cologne
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027215659 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027294289 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
 
Language is a symbolic system of meanings evoked by linguistic forms. The choice of forms in communication is non-arbitrary. Rather, speakers pick those forms whose meanings best convey their discourse intention. The meaning of the Mandarin ba-construction, argues Jing-Schmidt, is discourse dramaticity, a concept that includes high conceptual salience and subjectivity. The ba-construction and its "syntactic variations" are never interchangeable because contrast in their meanings determines difference in their functions. Quantitative analyses based on authentic data validate the postulation of discourse dramaticity. By taking discourse pragmatics seriously, the dramaticity hypothesis enables a unitary explanation that transcends sentence grammar.

The diachronic treatment reveals the syntactic change of the ba-construction as an adaptive process of pragmatization, which raises the issue of linguistic evolution as a result of socio-cultural development.

This book will be of particular value to readers interested in the interaction between grammar and pragmatics and to teachers confronting the controversy of the ba-construction in foreign language pedagogy.

[Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics, 56]  2005.  xxii, 337 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Preface
xi–xii
Acknowledgements
xiii–xv
List of Figures and Tables
xvii–xviii
Notational Conventions
xix
Abbreviations
xxi–xxii
1. Introduction
1–11
2. Database
13–15
3. The syntax of the ba -construction: Overview
17–66
4. Previous approaches
67–112
5. The hypothesis of discourse dramaticity
113–124
6. Cognitive salience as discourse dramaticity
125–210
7. Subjectivity and emotionality as discourse dramaticity
211–240
8. An interim conclusion
241–244
9 The pragmatization of the ba -construction: An adaptive change
245–295
10. Final remarks
297–300
Notes
301–307
References
309–326
Text material
327
Author index
329–331
Subject index
333–337
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2005050298