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A Constructional-Cognitive Analysis of Chinese Directionals

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This paper investigates the syntactic and semantic behaviour of directional items in Mandarin Chinese, proposing a constructional-cognitive model. Simultaneously, it argues against the traditional analysis of directionals as part of a compound. Instead, they are treated as proper larger constructions signaling subordination, based upon structural and functional evidence. Particularly, the verbs of motion are presented as catenative verbs (Aarts 2011, Huddleston and Pullum et al 2002) similar to those found in English, showing event complexity (eg Jackendoff 2002, Levin and Rappaport Hovav 2005). The two events then constitute mental spaces at the conceptual structure (Fauconnier 1994, 1997) and project into the entire motion-directional construction, which reflects the mappings of language and thought.

Affiliations: 1: Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Macau, ronaldf@umac.mo

10.1163/23526416-00101004
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/content/journals/10.1163/23526416-00101004
2015-03-11
2017-09-21

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