穷尽性还是对比性?-从英语分裂句看汉语焦点类“是”字句的语义

Exhaustivity or contrastivity? A comparative study of the semantics of Mandarin shi sentences and English it-clefts

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

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Pages (from-to)677-688
Journal / Publication外语教学与研究
Volume51
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Abstract

本文旨在对比英语it-分裂句与汉语焦点类"是"字句的语义,并着重讨论与它们语义相关的两组概念——穷尽性和对比性。对于英语it-分裂句的穷尽义,以往文献提出"断言说"、"预设说"和"会话隐含说"三种分析。但这些分析用于汉语"是"字句时,都存在一定的局限。本文在检讨既有分析的基础上提出以下观点:1)穷尽义虽然存在于"是"字句,但并不是直接被编码在"是"字句的语义或者语用层面,而是对比性在肯定语境下洐生出来的话语效果。换言之,穷尽性来自于对比性。2)"是"字句预设Repp(2016)定义的强对比语篇关系,即"是"字句的基本命题和"是"字句的对比项有且只有一个为真,同时,断言"是"字句的基本命题为真。这种分析不仅可以解决英语分裂句和汉语"是"字句语义分析中的几类疑难问题,也可以为不同句法位置的"是"字句(如句首"是"字句、句中"是"字句)以及几类"是"字句相关结构(如命题断言句、真值焦点句等)提供统一的语义解释。
In this study, we compare the semantics of English it-clefts and Mandarin focus-marking shi sentences, with special attention paid to two closely related notions: exhaustivity and contrastivity. While three types of analysis(the assertion analysis, the presupposition analysis, and the conversational implicature analysis) have been proposed to account for the semantics of it-clefts, none can adequately account for the semantics of Mandarin shi sentences. Therefore, we propose that (i) Exhaustivity should not be viewed as a separate meaning component encoded in the semantics of shi sentences, but is a kind of epiphenomenon derived from contrastivity.(ii) The presupposition of shi sentences involves two propositions: its prejacent and a contextually salient alternative. Shi sentences presuppose a strong contrastive discourse relation discussed in Repp (2016), namely, an exclusive disjunction between these two propositions. Meanwhile, shi sentences assert that the prejacent is true. The advantage of the current account is that it could provide a unified analysis towards different types of shi sentences (i.e. sentence initial vs sentence medial shi) and several types of shi related structures like propositional assertion pattern and verum focus.

Research Area(s)

  • “是”字句, it-分裂句, 穷尽性, 对比性