The Morphology of Chinese: A Linguistic and Cognitive Approach

The Morphology of Chinese: A Linguistic and Cognitive Approach

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0521026105

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book aims to dispel the myth that Chinese "doesn't have words" but instead "has characters." Jerome Packard challenges the common belief that Chinese has no morphology, demonstrating how analysis of Chinese word formation enhances our understanding of word universals in natural language. His book describes the intimate relationship between words and their components and offers new insights into their evolution. Models are offered for how Chinese words are stored in the mental lexicon and processed in natural speech.












cases still are) phrases in sentence syntax that have simply become lexicalized (see ..). However, although syntactic description may be a convenient heuristic that provides a useful surface description and a certain degree of diachronic insight, as an aid to understanding the properties of words and their use by native speakers, it has surprisingly little to offer. First of all, using sentence syntax to explain word structures carries with it an implicit expectation that such word structures

words are. So those minimal syntactic      units (‘syntactic atoms’) – by hypothesis – must all have syntactic form class identities. This being the case, we can observe how and to what extent those ‘outer’ form class identities that isolate and identify basic word units are related to the ‘inner’ form class identities of the word constituents. A natural working hypothesis would be that the outer form class identities are critically related to the inner form class

disguise N N N miniature painting N N N painted screen N N N book on painting N V N book of paintings N N N picture-scroll huàjuàn paint-silk huàkan pictureperiodical huàláng paint-hall huàláng picture-hall huàméi pictureeyebrow huàmiàn picture-face huàpí picture-skin huàpiàn picture-slip huàpíng picture-screen huàpj paint-manual huàpj picture-manual zìhuà characterpicture Table 5 (cont’d) word English gloss form form form class of class class word of huà of C ₂ huàshc

and nothing but a word. It is clearly idiomatic, the verb may be inflected by an aspect marker, and the object cannot be modified by anything, nor can it be topicalized or otherwise moved. It is even questionable whether bìyè can be reanalysed as a syntactic form. Table  lists various V–O forms, along with explanations for why they are considered words, or phrases, or both.    Table 17  Verb–Object forms V–O form word? phrase? why? chc miàn no yes meaning not

free, meaning idiomatized as ‘to invest’, may be followed by object yes by reanalysis -zFo is not free no yes meaning not idiomatized; may not be followed by object; both morphemes are free end-career ‘to graduate’ xifobiàn²⁰ minor-convenience ‘to urinate’ chebfn emit-edition ‘to publish’ jiagdng add-work ‘to process’ guàchh hang-teeth ‘to mention’ gémìng change-mandate ‘revolution’ tóuzc throw-money ‘to invest’ xhzfo wash-bath ‘take a bath’ bdpí peel-skin ‘to peel’ ²⁰ xiFobiàn is a verb

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