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A Cognitive Analysis of Chinese Locative Phrase Zai + NP + Bian/Mian/Tou

  • Xiaolong LuEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics book series (FiCL, volume 9)

Abstract

In this study I primarily examine the three commonly used Chinese locative phrases zai + NP + bian/mian/tou (zai-construction) through corpus analysis. Previous studies (Lin in Studies in Language and Linguistics 30:67–70, 2010; Liu in A synchronic and diachronic exploration of the monosyllabic localizer li and the disyllabic localizers limian, litou, libian and the disyllabification effect of the localizers, 2011; Tian in Cognitive analysis about the meaning of libian, waibian, limian, waimian, litou, waitou, 2011) dealt with issues regarding different meanings and structures of these phrases but they failed to systematically investigate these three localizers from a cognitive perspective. My proposal in short is that in the zai-construction, when NP is a specific noun, the distribution of these three localizers (bian ‘side’, mian ‘surface’, tou ‘head’) is semantically restricted in some situations. In contrast, when NP is a combination of a noun and a localizer, there is no restriction on the distribution of these three localizers, etc.. In addition, the use of these localizers can somewhat show the conceptual metaphorical mappings (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980) and subjectivity (Traugott in Language 65:31–55, 1989) embodied in individual mind.

Keywords

Zai-construction Localizer Metaphorical mapping Subjectivity 

Abbreviations

1SG

1st person singular

1PL

1st person plural

2SG

2nd person singular

2PL

2nd person plural

3SG

3rd person singular

3PL

3rd person plural

ATTR

Attributive de

BA

Ba-construction

BEI

Bei-construction

CL

Classifier

C

Complimentizer de

CRS

Current relevant state le

EM

Emphasis marker

EXP

Experiential

IMP

Imperfective

MOOD

Modal particle

NEG

Negator

PST

Past tense

PFV

Perfective le

PREP

Preposition

Q

Question marker

RC

Resultative complement

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Copyright information

© Peking University Press 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of East Asian Languages and LiteraturesUniversity of Hawaiʻi at MānoaHonoluluUSA

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