Morphosyntactic structure and emotion

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage and Emotion
Subtitle of host publicationAn International Handbook
EditorsGesine Lenore Schiewer, Jeanette Altarriba, Bee Chin Ng
Place of PublicationBerlin, Boston
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
ISBN (Electronic)9783110347524
ISBN (Print)9783110347487
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2022


Emotion predicates (EPs) have drawn substantial attention in the studies of the syntax-semantics interface. As a unique class of verbs, EPs display a diverse and intriguing range of morpho-syntactic variations associated with semantic distinctions. The traditional dichotomy of Stimulus-subject vs. Experiencer-subject EPs is revisited with an investigation of the lexical semantic properties of EPs in Mandarin Chinese, which sheds valuable new light on cross-linguistic comparison of lexicalization patterns. The Chinese emotion lexicon is unique in three respects: (i) the Stimulus-subject vs. Experiencer-subject distinction is blurred in a number of Chinese EPs; thus, the same utterance wŏ hěn wuliao can be interpreted as ‘I am bored’ or ‘I’m boring’; (ii) the causative construction is resorted to for deriving the Chinese equivalents of English Stimulus-subject verbs (such as excite, surprise) that are lexically missing in Chinese; (iii) the eventive vs. stative distinction that is neutralized in English is lexically and syntactically differentiable in Chinese with different semantic profiles. The Chinese-specific properties of EPs point to a new dimension of form-meaning mapping principles characteristic of emotion predication and call for a re-examination of the typological variations of EPs and their correlation with the topic-comment construction.

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Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Morphosyntactic structure and emotion. / Liu, Meichun.

Language and Emotion: An International Handbook. ed. / Gesine Lenore Schiewer; Jeanette Altarriba; Bee Chin Ng. Vol. 1 Berlin, Boston : De Gruyter Mouton, 2022. p. 472-486.

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review