Adverbial Clauses in Mandarin Chinese: A Corpus-based Study by May Lai-Ying Wong

By May Lai-Ying Wong

What are adverbial clauses in chinese language? Do all of them have topics as their opposite numbers do in English? How do the semantic domain names of adverbial clauses have interaction with the distribution of topics? How do chinese language corpora aid us discover those interesting questions?
the purpose of this learn is to illustrate the usefulness of corpus linguistics as a technique in grammar reports. A problem-oriented tagging process has been used to permit the exploration of adverbial clauses within the corpus and to spot 11 semantically established sessions of adverbial clauses. whereas it's a recognized proven fact that chinese language adverbial clauses (CACs) are openly marked by means of a subordinating conjunction, their matters could be left unexpressed and recovered within the previous discourse. by means of analysing evidently taking place spoken and written samples from a variety of corpora, the writer examines this exciting phenomenon of overt and non-overt matters in adverbial clauses.

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Sample text

The tagset10 comprises 26 basic word classes, including noun (n), time word (t), space word (s), directional locality (f), numeral (m), classifier (q), non-predicate adjective (b), pronoun (r), verb (v), adjective (a), descriptive11 (z), adverb (d), preposition (p), conjunction (c), auxiliary (u), modal particle (y), interjection (e), onomatopoeia (o), idiom12 (i), fixed expression (l), abbreviation (j), prefix13 (h), suffix14 (k), morpheme15 (g), unclassified item16 (x), and punctuation (w). Apart from this basic set of 26 POS markers, proper nouns were divided into personal names (nr), place names (ns), organisation names (nt) and other proper nouns (nz).

The particle de is functionally equivalent to the English relative pronoun who which indicates a gap or trace that is coreferential with the head noun. 9 Relative clauses may not exist in Chinese for at least two reasons. First, rather than a relativiser, the particle 䘬 de, as Chao (1968: 285) points out, is a marker of explicit modification. It is inserted after the premodifier of a noun phrase to make explicit the modifier-modified structure. g. g. g. ⊌≛䘬⬎䓇 qinlao de xuesheng “a hardworking student”).

Firstly, Thompson and Longacre (1985: 172) and Häcker (1999: 23) consider adverbial clauses to be one of the three types of subordinate clause (together with relative clauses and complement clauses),23 and define these adverbial subordinate clauses as ones which 23 For a description of different types of subordinate clauses, see for example Winter (1982), Beaman (1984), Thompson (1984 and 1987), Lehmann (1988), Matthiessen and Thompson (1988), Greenbaum and Nelson (1995). 35 modify a verb phrase or a sentence.

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