A text-based study of the grammar of Chinese from a systemic functional approach
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 21:35 authored by Eden Sum Hung Li
This is a purpose-oriented and text-based study of the clause grammar of Chinese from a systemic functional perspective. Using data from the Chinese translation of an Englishlanguage novel, I have explored the non-arbitrary relationship between the semantic and grammatical system networks of the three modes of meaning, namely ideational, interpersonal and textual, by taking an inductive, top-down approach. The ideational meaning construes our experience of the world around us and inside us as a structural configuration; the interpersonal meaning enacts our social and intersubjective roles through the selection of speech functions; and finally the textual meaning enables the ideational and interpersonal meanings to proceed as a flow of information, i.e. as text in context. -- This is a study of text, an attempt to extend the clause grammar towards discourse semantics. Texts are studied as an unfolding process, and hence instead of modeling text as a generic structure, system networks which indicate the meaning potential that a language user can utilise are constructed. The ways in which the interactants take turns to make a conversation move on have been examined; the systems which control the flow of information as a text unfolds have been constructed; and finally, the issue of textual connexity has been explored. The issue of connexity in the present study embodies three concepts: the connexity of information chunks, which is concerned with the property of cohesion; the connexity of messages, which is closely related to the property of coherence; and the connexity of text, which includes methods of thematic progression and thematic selection. -- This thesis is also a contrastive study of Chinese and English, hoping to shed some light on translation between the two languages and on teaching Chinese to English speakers. The grammatical systems of the three modes of meaning in the two languages have been compared from three angles: from around, i.e. concerning the options available in the systems; from above, i.e. concerning the syntactic structural differences of the options; and from below, i.e. concerning the syntactic structural differences of the options, as well as the relative frequencies of the various options in the systems.
Table of ContentsIntroduction to a description of the grammar of Chinese -- Ideational clause grammar: the semantic system of FIGURE and the grammatical system of TRANSITIVITY -- Interpersonal clause grammar: the semantic system of SPEECH FUNCTION and the grammatical system of MOOD -- Textual clause grammar: the semantic systems of TEXTUAL PROMINENCE and TEXTUAL STATUS and the grammatical systems of THEME and INFORMATION -- From the clause towards discourse: the system of VOICE -- Beyond the clause: connexity of texts -- Contrastive analysis of Chinese and English.
NotesBibliography: p. -504 (part 1)
Awarding InstitutionMacquarie University
Degree TypeThesis PhD
DegreeThesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Division of Linguistics & Psychology, Department of Linguistics
Department, Centre or SchoolDepartment of Linguistics
Year of Award2003
Principal SupervisorChristian Matthiessen
Additional Supervisor 1Edmund Ronowicz
RightsCopyright disclaimer: http://www.copyright.mq.edu.au Copyright Eden Sumhung Li 2003.
Extent2 parts (xxiii, 504, 162 p.) ill. (some col.)
Former Identifiersmq:9040 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/87120 1394243
Chinese language -- SemanticsFunctionalism (Linguistics)Chinese language -- Grammar, Comparative -- EnglishChinese language -- Grammar -- Theory, etcEnglish language -- Grammar, Comparative -- ChineseSystemic grammarEnglish languageChinese language -- Discourse analysisChinese languageChinese language -- Clauses