Subjectivity in Mandarin Chinese: The meaning and use of causal connectives in written discourse

Author: Fang Li
LOT Number: 365
ISBN: 978-94-6093-147-5
Pages: 217
Year: 2014
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Fang Li Subjectivity in Mandarin Chinese The meaning and use of causal connectives in written discourse This dissertation investigates the way in which ‘ subjectivity ’ − the degree to which the speaker expresses herself in the utterance – constrains the use of Chinese causal connectives , and into the universal and language - specific properties associated with this use . It starts with a literature review theoretically evaluating the potential for the western notion of subjectivity to explain the usage patterns of causal connectives in Chinese discourse , followed by corpus - based analyses of eight Chinese causal connectives in terms of subjectivity across different genres of written text ( i.e . , news reports , novels , and opinion pieces ) . The results indicate that overall , Chinese causal connectives show systematic variation in terms of subjectivity . Six of them ( i.e . , jiran , yinwei , youyu , all translated as ‘ because ’ ; and kejian , yin’er , yushi , all translated as ‘ so / therefore ’ ) display subjectivity profiles that differ from each other , and are robust across genres , whereas two other causal connectives ( i.e . , suoyi and yinci , both translated as ‘ so / therefore ’ ) manifest genre - sensitivity . The dissertation discusses implications of these findings for the way in which connectives are stored in the lexicon . In an eye - tracking experiment , it was investigated whether and how the degrees of subjectivity encoded in subjective / objective causal connectives affect the online processing of Chinese discourse .

Fang Li Subjectivity in Mandarin Chinese The meaning and use of causal connectives in written discourse This dissertation investigates the way in which ‘ subjectivity ’ − the degree to which the speaker expresses herself in the utterance – constrains the use of Chinese causal connectives , and into the universal and language - specific properties associated with this use . It starts with a literature review theoretically evaluating the potential for the western notion of subjectivity to explain the usage patterns of causal connectives in Chinese discourse , followed by corpus - based analyses of eight Chinese causal connectives in terms of subjectivity across different genres of written text ( i.e . , news reports , novels , and opinion pieces ) . The results indicate that overall , Chinese causal connectives show systematic variation in terms of subjectivity . Six of them ( i.e . , jiran , yinwei , youyu , all translated as ‘ because ’ ; and kejian , yin’er , yushi , all translated as ‘ so / therefore ’ ) display subjectivity profiles that differ from each other , and are robust across genres , whereas two other causal connectives ( i.e . , suoyi and yinci , both translated as ‘ so / therefore ’ ) manifest genre - sensitivity . The dissertation discusses implications of these findings for the way in which connectives are stored in the lexicon . In an eye - tracking experiment , it was investigated whether and how the degrees of subjectivity encoded in subjective / objective causal connectives affect the online processing of Chinese discourse .

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