The inter-sentential function of Mandarin bei passives

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Saina Wuyun
  • Haihua Pan

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-280
Journal / PublicationChinese Language and Discourse
Volume5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Although the intra‐sentential functions of the Mandarin bei passive construction have been well studied, its inter‐sentential function has not been well under‐ stood yet. In this paper, from a Centering Theory perspective, we demonstrate that the bei passive also bears inter‐sentential weights. Specifically, the function of the pre‐bei semantic entity is to preserve the Cb from its preceding utter- ance; whereas that of the bei‐object is either to introduce a new Cb or to retain the original Cb so as to step aside for a new one at the pre‐bei position. This study also compares the Centering Theory approach with the Givón tradition in discourse analysis and claims that Centering Theory is a more suitable analytical tool of calculating the degree of discourse coherence and portraying the fluency of information flow, whereas the Givón tradition is better treated as a measure‐ ment for discourse relatedness.

Research Area(s)

  • Bei passive, Center transition, Centering theory, Discourse coherence, Inter-sentential function

Citation Format(s)

The inter-sentential function of Mandarin bei passives. / Wuyun, Saina; Pan, Haihua.

In: Chinese Language and Discourse, Vol. 5, No. 2, 01.2014, p. 252-280.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review