On the Analysis of an Attitude Adverb gan1cui4 ‘simply’ in Mandarin Chinese

  • 廖 恩璇

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In English auxiliaries or adverbs can influence the interpretation of entire sentences and adverbs in Mandarin Chinese have the same property as well Previous researchers have emphasized the analysis of the modals such as the modal adverbs and epistemic modality when discussing the adverbs that occur in Mandarin Chinese However different from previous approaches the exploration in this study is on the adverb as well but the main bases are adverb features attitudes and the illocutionary force This study takes the adverb gan1cui4 乾脆 ‘simply’ as an example and finds that this adverb is actually interrelated with attitudes It makes up for the gaps of the analysis based on the modals and in this work this adverb is considered to be one of the attitude adverbs The goal of this study is to investigate the syntactic semantic and pragmatic use of the adverb gan1cui4 乾脆 Firstly the positions the sentence types and the attitudes analysis of gan1cui4 乾脆 are discussed It is found that in addition to the medial position in the sentence where it appears it also usually occurs in the initial position This adverb can be used in declaratives imperatives and rhetorical interrogatives Overall based on gan1cui4 乾脆 the features of an attitude adverb are also described in this study Secondly a semantic analysis and a collocational perspective of gan1cui4 乾脆 including the aspects the negation and other co-occurrences of words are also provided This work explores the semantic concord between the co-occurrence and this adverb and suggests that its semantic features not only include speaker-oriented features and subjectivity but also co-occur with the perfective or future aspect and negation It also appears with volitional verbs but it cannot be used with the experiential aspect marker and cannot occur in front of modal verbs The results provide more representation of the verb features in sentences with gan1cui4 乾脆 Thirdly based on pragmatic theories including speech acts and politeness the kinds of the speech acts that gan1cui4 乾脆 may occur with and the pragmatic functions of gan1cui4 乾脆 in a specific context are categorized As a result this adverb is shown in the speech acts of both directives and expressives Therefore its three pragmatic functions are classified as making resolute affirmations making suggestions and making irony In addition this study further discusses the prior context that this adverb occurs in It can appear in causal conditional and sequential types of antecedent-consequent structures Finally according to the illocutionary force and the clause type in the Split-CP this study also describes an attitude of irony that gan1cui4 乾脆 expresses in indirect speech This special use can be represented through the three different sentence types The study suggests that an attitude of irony in this adverb is closely related to the rhetorical feature of sentence types that is an important feature of the attitude adverbs as well The data in the study are collected mainly from the Academia Sinica Corpus and conversational data Most notably for the pragmatic analysis the conversational data includes TV dramas or shows daily conversations and YouTube videos
Date of Award2017 Aug 31
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHui-Chi Lee (Supervisor)

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