Aspect in Mandarin Chinese

A corpus-based study

| University of Lancaster
| University of Lancaster
ISBN 9789027230836 (Eur) | EUR 115.00
ISBN 9781588116017 (USA) | USD 173.00
ISBN 9789027295019 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
Chinese, as an aspect language, has played an important role in the development of aspect theory. This book is a systematic and structured exploration of the linguistic devices that Mandarin Chinese employs to express aspectual meanings. The work presented here is the first corpus-based account of aspect in Chinese, encompassing both situation aspect and viewpoint aspect. In using corpus data, the book seeks to achieve a marriage between theory-driven and corpus-based approaches to linguistics. The corpus-based model presented explores aspect at both the semantic and grammatical levels. At the semantic level a two-level model of situation aspect is proposed, which covers both the lexical and sentential levels, thus giving a better account of the compositional nature of situation aspect. At the grammatical level four perfective and four imperfective aspects in Chinese are explored in detail. This exploration corrects many intuition-based misconceptions, and associated misleading conclusions, about aspect in Chinese common in the literature.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 73]  2004.  x, 305 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“As the first published text-based study of aspect in Chinese, this book demonstrates the value of corpus data for purposes of developing linguistic theory. By filling numerous gaps in the description of Chinese aspect, the findings will prove essential to anyone wishing to gain a more complete picture of Mandarin Chinese language structure. The book is also useful for its clear summary of previous approaches to the theory of aspect and for the clarity it brings to the description of basic aspectual categories. Also welcome is the two-layered approach adopted, which accounts for situation aspect in terms of verb classes on the lexical level and as situation types on the sentential level, resulting in a systhesis of ideas presented by both Vendler and Smith.”
“Overall AIMC has done a remarkable job in deepening the understanding of Chinese aspect. It has not only expanded the research scope, but also provided many insights into the nature of Chinese aspect. Most importantly, the seamless integration of theoretic exploration with empirical investigation provides new directions for future exploration. This book is necessary for any one who wants to investigate Chinese aspect further.”
“In Aspect in Mandarin Chinese, Richard Xiao and Tony McEnery achieve a detailed and insightful analysis of verbal aspect in Chinese, based on a new and powerful two-level model of aspect. Taking as its starting point the theory of Carlota Smith (1991, 1997), their model, clearly and subtly developed, shows undoubted advances over previous treatments of aspect. Of particular importance is the distinction between viewpoint aspect (which is essentially grammatical) and situation aspect (which is essentially semantic, to be analysed at lexical or sentential level). One of the book's particular strengths lies in its successful combination of theoretical depth with a corpus-based methodology. The authors’ use of corpora of both Chinese and English incorporates also the use of a parallel corpus of both source texts and their translations. The corpus data provide them with a means to confirm the validity of their model across language boundaries, and to show the benefit of both theory and data in the contrastive analyses of the two languages. This book brings new clarity and rigour to the study of aspect, and so advances an important area of grammatical research which has previously suffered from confusing or inadequate formulations.”
“Overall, Aspect in Mandarin Chinese does an outstanding job in introducing a new empirical approach to aspect study; its broad approach to aspect in Chinese in fruitful; and the parallel corpus-based contrastive analysis of Chinese and English has both theoretical and practical values. It is no exaggeration that Aspect in Mandarin Chinese by Xiao and McEnery will be a landmark in Chinese linguistics and in aspect research in general.”
Aspect in Mandarin Chinese makes a very important contribution to aspect studies.It is the first detailed account in English of aspect in Chinese;it is based on a balanced corpus;it recognizes variation among different text types (unlike most existing work on aspect); it develops and applies a revised version of Carlota Smith’s two-level model of aspect. The analysis is all the more valuable for being the product of joint work by a native speaker of English and a native speaker of Chinese, not to mention the input of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.Scholars interested in aspect in general or in aspect in Chinese or in comparing and contrasting aspect in Chinese and English will find this book an essential long-term research tool.I will certainly be using it as soon as it is published.”
“This book presents an important step on the road towards a better understanding of the Chinese aspectual system, including both situation aspect and grammatical aspect, and convincingly demonstrates the value of using corpus data to achieve greater accuracy when describing linguistic phenomena. It can be recommended to anyone who would like to know more about the fascinating temporal system in Mandarin Chinese.”
Cited by

Cited by 84 other publications

No author info given
2014.  In Temporality: Universals and Variation,  pp. 308 ff. Crossref logo
No author info given
2018.  In Directional Particles in Cantonese [Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse, 9], Crossref logo
No author info given
2019.  In Encoding Motion Events in Mandarin Chinese [Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse, 11], Crossref logo
Ai, Haiyang
2021. A Concept-based Approach to the Instruction of the Chinese ba-construction. Language and Sociocultural Theory 7:1  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Arcodia, Giorgio F., Bianca Basciano & Chiara Melloni
2015. Areal perspectives on total reduplication of verbs in Sinitic. Studies in Language 39:4  pp. 836 ff. Crossref logo
Chan, Hio Tong & Chunyu Kit
2010.  In 2010 International Conference on Asian Language Processing,  pp. 87 ff. Crossref logo
2010. The development of aspectual marking in child Mandarin Chinese. Applied Psycholinguistics 31:1  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Chen, Lijun & Stephanie Durrleman
2022. Comprehension of Mandarin Aspect Markers by Preschool Children With and Without Developmental Language Disorder. Frontiers in Psychology 13 Crossref logo
Cheng, Winnie
2012.  In The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Crossref logo
Cong, Jin
2021. A Zipfian Approach to Words in Contexts: The Cases of Modern English and Chinese. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Dai, Guangrong
2016.  In Hybridity in Translated Chinese [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ],  pp. 71 ff. Crossref logo
2020. Aspect beyond time: Introduction. Journal of Linguistics 56:3  pp. 459 ff. Crossref logo
Deng, Xiangjun, Ziyin Mai & Virginia Yip
2018. An aspectual account of ba and bei constructions in child Mandarin. First Language 38:3  pp. 243 ff. Crossref logo
Ding, Hongdi
2018. A cross-dialectal analysis of Nuosu adjectival comparative constructions. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 41:1  pp. 45 ff. Crossref logo
Du, Hang
2016.  In Integrating Chinese Linguistic Research and Language Teaching and Learning [Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse, 7],  pp. 13 ff. Crossref logo
Du, Hang
2022. Grammatical and lexical development during study abroad: Research on a corpus of spoken L2 Chinese. Foreign Language Annals Crossref logo
Durst-Andersen, Per & Daniel Barratt
2019. Idea-based and image-based linguacultures. International Journal of Language and Culture 6:2  pp. 351 ff. Crossref logo
Ellis, Nick C. & Nuria Sagarra
2010. THE BOUNDS OF ADULT LANGUAGE ACQUISITION. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 32:4  pp. 553 ff. Crossref logo
Ellis, Nick C. & Nuria Sagarra
2011. LEARNED ATTENTION IN ADULT LANGUAGE ACQUISITION. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 33:4  pp. 589 ff. Crossref logo
Fassi Fehri, Abdelkader & Marie-Thérèse Vinet
2008. Verbal and nominal classes in Arabic and Chinese*. Recherches linguistiques de Vincennes :37  pp. 55 ff. Crossref logo
Gabriele, Alison & William McClure
2011. Why Some Imperfectives Are Interpreted Imperfectly: A Study of Chinese Learners of Japanese. Language Acquisition 18:1  pp. 39 ff. Crossref logo
Gao, Feier, Siqi Lyu & Chien-Jer Charles Lin
2021. Processing Mandarin Tone 3 Sandhi at the Morphosyntactic Interface: Reduplication and Lexical Compounds. Frontiers in Psychology 12 Crossref logo
Gries, Stefan Th. & Sandra C. Deshors
2014. Using regressions to explore deviations between corpus data and a standard/target: two suggestions. Corpora 9:1  pp. 109 ff. Crossref logo
Grisot, Cristina & Juan Sun
2021.  In Time in Languages, Languages in Time [Studies in Corpus Linguistics, 101],  pp. 95 ff. Crossref logo
Guo, Yanyu
2022. From a simple to a complex aspectual system: Feature reassembly in L2 acquisition of Chinese imperfective markers by English speakers. Second Language Research 38:1  pp. 89 ff. Crossref logo
Iljic, Robert
2009. Grammaticalization of the notion of “passing” in Chinese (aspectual values). Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 72:3  pp. 513 ff. Crossref logo
Ji, Meng
2013. Xiao, Richard, ed. 2010. Using Corpora in Contrastive and Translation Studies. Target. International Journal of Translation Studies 25:2  pp. 301 ff. Crossref logo
Jing-Schmidt, Zhuo, Jun Lang, Heidi Hui Shi, Steffi H. Hung & Lin Zhu
2022. Aspect construal in Mandarin: a usage-based constructionist perspective on LE . Linguistics 60:2  pp. 541 ff. Crossref logo
Kesselly, Rose-Ellen
2008. An Investigation of L1 Influence on Japanese and Chinese Native Speakers’ Use of English Tense Forms. New Voices 2  pp. 220 ff. Crossref logo
Khoo, Yong Kang
2018.  In Chinese Lexical Semantics [Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 11173],  pp. 34 ff. Crossref logo
Khoo, Yong Kang & Jingxia Lin
2020.  In From Minimal Contrast to Meaning Construct [Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics, 9],  pp. 101 ff. Crossref logo
Kuteva, Tania, Bernd Heine, Bo Hong, Haiping Long, Heiko Narrog & Seongha Rhee
2019.  In World Lexicon of Grammaticalization, Crossref logo
Lamarre, Christine
2015.  In Space and Quantification in Languages of China,  pp. 233 ff. Crossref logo
Li, Shaofeng
2014. The interface between feedback type, L2 proficiency, and the nature of the linguistic target. Language Teaching Research 18:3  pp. 373 ff. Crossref logo
Li, Wendan
2014. Clause structure and grounding in Chinese written narrative discourse. Chinese Language and Discourse. An International and Interdisciplinary Journal 5:2  pp. 99 ff. Crossref logo
Li, Wendan
2014. Perfectivity and grounding in Mandarin Chinese. Studies in Language 38:1  pp. 128 ff. Crossref logo
Li, Wendan
2014. The pragmatics of existential-presentative constructions in Chinese. International Journal of Chinese Linguistics 1:2  pp. 244 ff. Crossref logo
Li, Wendan
2017. Aspectual coercion. International Journal of Chinese Linguistics 4:1  pp. 22 ff. Crossref logo
Li, Xiaoshi, Wenjing Li & Yaqiong Cui
2021. The use of le 了 in Mandarin Chinese oral discourse. Chinese Language and Discourse. An International and Interdisciplinary Journal 12:2  pp. 135 ff. Crossref logo
Liang, Lijuan, Vasiliki Chondrogianni & Baoguo Chen
2021. Online processing of the grammatical aspect marker by L2 Chinese learners. Second Language Research  pp. 026765832199642 ff. Crossref logo
Liao, Yiyun, Monique Flecken, Katinka Dijkstra & Rolf A. Zwaan
2020. Going places in Dutch and mandarin Chinese: conceptualising the path of motion cross-linguistically. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience 35:4  pp. 498 ff. Crossref logo
Lin, Jingxia
2015. Encoding motion events in Chinese and the “scalar specificity constraint”. Lingua Sinica 1:1 Crossref logo
Lin, Jo-Wang
2007. Predicate restriction, discontinuity property and the meaning of the perfective marker Guo in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 16:3  pp. 237 ff. Crossref logo
Ljungqvist, Marita
2007. Le, guo and zhe in Mandarin Chinese: a relevance-theoretic account. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 16:3  pp. 193 ff. Crossref logo
Lu, Wei-lun
2022.  In A Conceptual Exploration of Polysemy: A Case Study of [V] – [UP] and [V] – [SHANG], Crossref logo
Lu 盧慧娟, Hui-Chuan, Wenli Tsou 鄒文莉 & Fay Chen 陳慧琴
1970. Glocalized rhetoric practices on medical writing. Círculo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Comunicación 69  pp. 217 ff. Crossref logo
Mai, Ziyin
2016. L2 Chinese: Grammatical development and processing. Second Language Research 32:1  pp. 123 ff. Crossref logo
Martins, Custodio & Mário Pinharanda-Nunes
2020.  In Linguistic Approaches to Portuguese as an Additional Language [Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 24],  pp. 109 ff. Crossref logo
2019. Signatures of automaticity during practice: Explicit instruction about L1 processing routines can improve L2 grammatical processing. Applied Psycholinguistics 40:1  pp. 205 ff. Crossref logo
Mhondera, Achieford & Tendai Mutepfa
2022. Cross-linguistic issues in the acquisition of Mandarin Chinese negation by Shona–English bilinguals at the University of Zimbabwe: implications for second language teaching. South African Journal of African Languages 42:2  pp. 113 ff. Crossref logo
Ming, Tao
2010. Review of Xiao & McEnery (2004): Aspect in Mandarin Chinese: A Corpus-based Study. Chinese Language and Discourse. An International and Interdisciplinary Journal 1:1  pp. 138 ff. Crossref logo
Ngo, Thanh
2015. A comparative account of the interpretation of temporal relations in narrative in Vietnamese and English. Languages in Contrast 15:2  pp. 208 ff. Crossref logo
Onozuka, Hiromi
2008. On the Resultative Reading of the Imperfective Aspect in English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 28:1  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Peck, Jeeyoung & Jingxia Lin
2022. Semantic constraint on preposition incorporation of postverbal locative PPs in Mandarin Chinese. Language and Linguistics. 語言暨語言學  pp. 85 ff. Crossref logo
2015. Acquiring Temporal Meanings Without Tense Morphology: The Case of L2 Mandarin Chinese. The Modern Language Journal 99:2  pp. 283 ff. Crossref logo
Spencer-Rodgers, Julie, Helen C. Boucher, Sumi C. Mori, Lei Wang & Kaiping Peng
2009. The Dialectical Self-Concept: Contradiction, Change, and Holism in East Asian Cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 35:1  pp. 29 ff. Crossref logo
Su, Hang
2015. Review of Yan & Webster (2014): Developing Systemic Functional Linguistics: Theory and Application. Functions of Language 22:1  pp. 150 ff. Crossref logo
Sun, Juan & Cristina Grisot
2020. Expressing Temporal Reference in Mandarin: A Quantitative Study Using Translation Corpora. Corpus Pragmatics 4:2  pp. 207 ff. Crossref logo
Sun, Linlin & Kasper Boye
2019. The grammatical-lexical distinction in Chinese aspectual markers. Studies in Language 43:3  pp. 668 ff. Crossref logo
Sun, Yuliang, Lourdes Díaz Rodríguez & Mariona Taulé
2020. A story-writing based study on the acquisition of aspect in Spanish by Mandarin Chinese learners. Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada/Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics 33:2  pp. 588 ff. Crossref logo
Tantucci, Vittorio
2015. Traversativity and grammaticalization. Chinese Language and Discourse. An International and Interdisciplinary Journal 6:1  pp. 57 ff. Crossref logo
Tantucci, Vittorio
2021.  In Language and Social Minds, Crossref logo
Vanek, Norbert
2020. Changing Event Categorization in Second Language Users Through Perceptual Learning. Language Learning 70:2  pp. 309 ff. Crossref logo
Wang, Chyan‐an Arthur & Hsiao‐hung Iris Wu
2020. Light verbs in verbal reduplication. Studia Linguistica 74:2  pp. 337 ff. Crossref logo
Wei, Aiyun, Qian Lu & Haitao Liu
2021. Word Length Distribution in Zhuang Language. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 28:3  pp. 195 ff. Crossref logo
Wong, May L-Y
2010. Review of Xiao & McEnery (2010): Corpus-based Contrastive Studies of English and Chinese. Chinese Language and Discourse. An International and Interdisciplinary Journal 1:2  pp. 329 ff. Crossref logo
Xiao, Richard & Xianyao Hu
2015.  In Corpus-Based Studies of Translational Chinese in English-Chinese Translation [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ],  pp. 121 ff. Crossref logo
Xie, Zhu
2020. Two Types of Verb Reduplications in Mandarin Chinese. Studies in Chinese Linguistics 41:1  pp. 73 ff. Crossref logo
Xu, Hongzhi
2021.  In The Chinese Aspectual System [Corpora and Intercultural Studies, 8],  pp. 41 ff. Crossref logo
Xu, Hongzhi
2021.  In The Chinese Aspectual System [Corpora and Intercultural Studies, 8],  pp. 107 ff. Crossref logo
Xu, Jiajin
2022. Corpus-based Chinese studies. Chinese Language and Discourse. An International and Interdisciplinary Journal  pp. 218 ff. Crossref logo
Xu, Yi
2014. A corpus-based functional study of shi…de constructions. Chinese Language and Discourse. An International and Interdisciplinary Journal 5:2  pp. 146 ff. Crossref logo
Xu, Yi & Jie Zhang
2022. Chinese compound word inference through context and word-internal cues. Language Teaching Research 26:3  pp. 308 ff. Crossref logo
Yang, Suying
2011. The parameter of temporal endpoint and the basic function of -le. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 20:4  pp. 383 ff. Crossref logo
Yang, Yuting, Yunhua Qu, Chenyao Bao & Xiaowen Zhang
2015. A Model-based Feature Optimization Approach to Chinese Language Processing. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 22:1  pp. 55 ff. Crossref logo
Zeng, Xiaoyan, Yasuhiro Shirai & Xiaoxiang Chen
2021. Universals and transfer in the acquisition of the progressive aspect: Evidence from L1 Chinese, German, and Spanish learners’ use of the progressive -ing in spoken English . International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching 59:2  pp. 267 ff. Crossref logo
Zeng, Zhen
2022. Zum Verhältnis zwischen dem chinesischen Modalverb yīnggāi und dem Tempus sowie dem Aspekt. Asiatische Studien - Études Asiatiques 0:0 Crossref logo
Zhang, Niina Ning
2017. Unifying two general licensors of completive adverbials in syntax . Linguistics 55:2  pp. 371 ff. Crossref logo
Zhang, Qiaochao
2017. Investigating the teaching of Chinese aspect markers 'zai', 'zhe', 'le' and 'guo'. Researching and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language 2:1  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo
Zhang, Shi
2020.  In Lost in Transmission [Studies in Bilingualism, 59],  pp. 256 ff. Crossref logo
Zhang, Xiaoqian
2022.  In Chinese Lexical Semantics [Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 13249],  pp. 31 ff. Crossref logo
Zhang, Zhiyi & Li Shikun
2021. Chinese does have independent tense elements. Chinese Semiotic Studies 17:1  pp. 45 ff. Crossref logo
Zhao, Yang
2020. Review of Zhu (2019): Chinese aspectual particle le: A comprehensive guide. Chinese as a Second Language (漢語教學研究—美國中文教師學會學報). The journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA 55:3  pp. 239 ff. Crossref logo
德馨, 劉, 郭 庭安, 大槻 和也, 葉 姵妤 & 劉 儀君
2021. 日籍華語學習者的體標記習得偏誤. Chinese as a Second Language Research 10:2  pp. 291 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 28 july 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2004057453 | Marc record