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Chinese Voice: ba (把) and bei (被)



Chinese ba (把) and bei (被) display argument alternations which reveal new properties in the cartographic projection of Chinese Voice.
Chinese Voice (ba/bei)
Keith Tse ( 漢漢漢 )
University of York/Ronin Institute ( 漢漢漢漢漢漢 / 漢漢漢漢 )
ba  bei  
    
 !"#$% &#'
  ) *#+,,&-
  ba  bei#''
''1'. !#
3%pace42 ,# *#+,+5
91'   (
':  #  #  #%  #
 #'  #  #  '-
0ba  bei  #
':gen  '#yong 
#wang  '#cong  '#wei
 ;'%#gei  ';'%-Ba  bei
 ##
' ba'1' bei:
  
?/'-2.##+,, 
  
?)%-2.##+,, 
'+,,#  ba'
0'  gei08'  bei:
'1'9'(= A#
'  ba  bei'
/>'% E#$ E&-
9' 2
int.(( (
arg. 9' 2
?82 ext. 0' 08(
arg. 9'08 082
?2 int.08 (
arg.  9' 2
?8'2 ext.  (
arg. 9' 2
int.arg  C
  ba  bei';
   
.##+,, 
) *#%;<%  gei 
+,,#+,, #''
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This paper examines the interaction of DOM with information structure in Mandarin Chinese. Despite the large amount of works on this topic, much remains to be explained, in particular with respect to some alternations that do not easily fit the explanations proposed so far in terms of affectedness, animacy and definiteness. Through the analysis of text excerpts taken from the Corpus of Modern Chinese of the Center for Chinese Linguistics (CCL) of Peking University, we argue that, in addition to previously identified constraints, DOM in Mandarin Chinese performs another important function in discourse, namely that of signalling the high identifiability of the marked referent.
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There is a traditional belief that a bare verb in the ba construction is never allowed. While often observed, the rule does not always hold true, as I propose to show in this paper. In poems, for example. bare verbs are commonly used to form ba constructions. In everyday speech, disyllabic bare verbs in the ba construction are also allowed, whereas a monosyllable counterpart is strictly banned in the same environment. Given this, it is argued that the Bare Verb Effect in ba constructions is constrained neither by syntax nor by semantics, but primarily by prosody. The argument made here strongly supports the proposal made in Feng (1995) that the interactions between syntax and prosody are bi-directional: Syntax governs prosody and prosody also constrains syntax. The prosodic constraints developed in this paper can also be viewed as well-formed conditions on all the sentences which cannot surface until all of the relevant types of structural constraints (syntactic, semantic and prosodic) are satisfied. The prosodic constraints could, therefore, be one type of interface condition under the assumption that all conditions are interface conditions and that a linguistic expression is the optimal realization of the interface conditions.
1: Universal Grammar and Word Order.- Notes.- 2: Dimensions of the Case Module.- 2.0. Introduction.- 2.1. Subject and Case.- 2.2. Case Assignees.- 2.2.1. Theoretical Issues.- 2.2.2. Nonsubcategorized NPs and the Case Filter.- 2.2.3. PPs and Clauses: Visibility.- 2.2.4. Thematic and Case Conflict.- 2.2.5. Summary.- 2.3. Conditions on Case Assignment.- Notes.- 3: Single Complementation.- 3.0. Introduction.- 3.1. Descriptive/Resultative Expressions.- 3.1.1. Properties of Descriptive/Resultative Expressions.- Descriptive/Resultative Expressions as Predicates.- Descriptive/Resultative Expressions as Complement.- 3.1.2. Descriptive Expressions.- 3.1.3. Resultative Expressions.- 3.2. Postverbal PPs.- 3.3. Summary.- Notes.- 4: Multiple Complementation.- 4.0. Introduction.- 4.1. Double Object Structures [V NP2 NP1].- 4.1.1. Types of Double Object Structures [VNP2 NP1] in Chinese.- Goal Double Object Structures.- Source Double Object Structures.- 4.1.2. Mechanism for Case Assignment in the Double Object Structure.- Inherent Case Marking.- Structural Case Marking.- 4.1.3. Inherent Case Marking for [V NP2 NP1] in Chinese.- 4.1.4. Structural Case Marking for [V NP2 NP1] in Chines.- NP-Incorporation.- Problems for NP-Incorporation.- The Empty Category Principle.- The Empty Category Principle for [V NP2 NP1] in Chinese.- Source Double Object Structures.- 4.2. [VNP$$\bar S$$] Structures.- 4.3. [V NP1 gei NP2] and [V gei NP2 NP1].- 4.3.1. The Status of Gei.- 4.3.2. Word Order.- 4.3.3. A Problem: Subcategorization.- 4.4. Conclusion.- 4.5. Alternatives.- Notes.- 5: Lexical and Categorial Properties of Case.- 5.0. Introduction.- 5.1. Raising Structures.- 5.2. Exceptional Case Marking Structures.- 5.3. Existential/Presentative Sentences.- 5.3.1. Contrasts between English and Chinese.- 5.3.2. The Problem.- 5.3.3. Analysis.- 5.4. Weather Verbs.- 5.5. Expletive Empty Category.- 5.5.1. The Definiteness Effect.- 5.5.2. Case Assignment of Ergative Verbs.- 5.5.3. Implications.- 5.6. Conclusion.- Notes.- 6: Passive, BA, and Topic Constructions.- 6.0. Introduction.- 6.1. The BEI Construction.- 6.1.1. Syntactic Properties.- 6.1.2. Case and Theta-Role Assignment.- 6.1.3. The Passive Morpheme in Chinese.- 6.1.4. Case Assignment.- 6.1.5. Theta-Role Assignment.- 6.1.6. Obligatory NP-Movement.- 6.1.7. Summary.- 6.2. The BA Construction.- 6.2.1. Properties.- 6.2.2. The Status of Ba.- 6.2.3. Analysis.- Movement Analysis.- Nonmovement Analysis.- Theta-Role Assignment.- Subcategorization.- 6.2.4. Conclusion.- 6.3. Topic Structures.- 6.4. Conclusion.- Notes.- 7: Conclusion.- 7.1. Empirical Consequences.- 7.2. Theoretical Implications.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.
This reference grammar provides, for the first time, a description of the grammar of "Mandarin Chinese", the official spoken language of China and Taiwan, in functional terms, focusing on the role and meanings of word-level and sentence-level structures in actual conversations.
The ba construction has been widely discussed in theliterature; however, so far no analysis provides a satisfactoryaccount for all of the distributional properties of ba. Thispaper considers the ba construction from an aspectual point ofview. I argue that the ba predicate describes a bounded event.Whether an event is bounded in Chinese may depend on situationtype only, or it may depend on both situation type and the aspecta situation is presented in. As for the ba NP, it is specific inthe sense of Liu (1990). I further argue that the two properties-- boundedness and specificity -- are related. There is adependency between the ba argument denotations and the eventdescribed by the predicate, and this dependency can becharacterized in terms of a structure-preserving function -- ahomomorphism. The relation preserved is the 'all of' relation. Onthis view boundedness and specificity are simply differentmanifestations of the same property that is inherent in themeaning of a ba predicate. The ba construction is thus shown tobe an example of how aspectual considerations constrain both thepredicate and an NP argument in Chinese.
The indefinite determiner ‘yi ‘one’+classifier’ is the most approximate to an indefinite article, like the English a, in Chinese. It serves all the functions characteristic of representative stages of grammaticalization from a numeral to a generalized indefinite determiner as elaborated in the literature. It is established in this paper that the Chinese indefinite determiner has developed a special use with definite expressions, serving as a backgrounding device marking entities as of low thematic importance and unlikely to receive subsequent mentions in ensuing discourse. ‘yi+classifier’ in the special use with definite expressions displays striking similarities in terms of semantic bleaching and phonological reduction with the same determiner at the advanced stage of grammaticalization characterized by uses with generics, nonspecifics and nonreferentials. An explanation is offered in terms of an implicational relation between nonreferentiality and low thematic importance which characterize the two uses of the indefinite determiner. While providing another piece of evidence in support of the claim that semantically nonreferentials and entities of low thematic importance tend to be encoded in terms of same linguistic devices in language, findings in this paper have shown how an indefinite determiner can undergo a higher degree of grammaticalization than has been reported in the literature—it expands its scope to mark not only indefinite but also definite expressions as semantically nonreferential and/or thematically unimportant.