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Title: Dislocation or afterthought? : a conversation analytic account of incremental sentences in Chinese
Authors: Luke, Kang-Kwong.
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Luke, K. (2012). Dislocation or Afterthought? : a Conversation Analytic Account of Incremental Sentences in Chinese. Discourse Processes, 49(3-4), 338-365.
Series/Report no.: Discourse processes
Abstract: For almost 80 years, Chinese linguists have been fascinated by sentences like “Pijiu ba, he dianr!” (“Beer, I'll have some!”), which look superficially like a jumbled-up version of “normal-order sentences.” Numerous accounts have been proposed to explain their structure and meaning, but no consensus has been reached as to how their true essence should be captured, making it one of the most intriguing and least well understood phenomena in Chinese grammar. This article adopts a “dynamic” perspective and analyzes these sentences from the point of view of their planning and delivery in real time. It is argued that the key to a full understanding of these sentences is to think of them as “incremental sentences” (i.e., bipartite structures consisting of a “host” followed by an “increment”). An examination of a corpus of naturally occurring data shows that, as a grammatical form, the incremental sentence can be used in different sequential contexts to perform a variety of actions. These span a spectrum of possibilities, including intensification, emphasis, backgrounding, qualification, clarification, and disambiguation.
DOI: 10.1080/0163853X.2012.658502
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Journal Articles

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