Conceptualization and Cognitive Relativism on Result in Mandarin Chinese: The Case Study of Mandarin Chinese B? Construction Using a Cognitive and Centering Approach

by Dai, Jin huei

Abstract (Summary)
This work adopts Langacker's cognitive grammar approach and addresses the cognitive significance of result in Mandarin Chinese, as expressed in resultant construals in the Mandarin Chinese b? construction: X b? Y Z. I identify the semantic prime of result in Mandarin Chinese, and discuss its role in the resultative verbal compound construction, the V-de-EXT resultative construction, and the bèi construction, with particular focus on the b? construction. I provide evidence for the resultant nature of segment Z in the b? construction in (1) aspectual markers, (2) resultative suffixes, (3) resultative verbal compounds, (4) locative complements, (5) directional complements, (6) the double object g?i 'give' construction, (7) inalienable possession; (8) durative and frequentative markers; and (9) the regard predicate. I consider the semantic category of result in the Mandarin Chinese b? construction to be grounded in the conceptualization of the morpheme b? 'to take, to hold.' The manipulative sense of holding an object is transformed into a metaphorical resultative sense of holding a grammatical event. Comparisons with the English "get/have + p.p. construction" and the German inseparable prefixes reveal the shared cross-linguistic nature of agency and result. I utilize Grosz, Joshi, and Weinstein's (1995) centering discourse approach to analyze the Mandarin Chinese b? construction X b? Y Z, and determine that segment Y is the backward-looking center. Prince's assumed familiarity accounts for the cognitive constraints of segment Y. I ascribe the cognitive significance of result to the claim of construal differences. I apply cognitive relativism to pedagogical implications for SLA instruction of the Mandarin Chinese b? construction.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Pius Ngandu; Qiancheng Li; Hugh W. Buckingham; Mary Jill Brody; Michael Hegarty

School:Louisiana State University in Shreveport

School Location:USA - Louisiana

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:linguistics interdepartmental program


Date of Publication:04/19/2005

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