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International Journal of Chinese Linguistics

image of International Journal of Chinese Linguistics
ISSN 2213-8706
E-ISSN 2213-8714

<p><em>International Journal of Chinese Linguistics</em> is a peer-reviewed journal. The journal aims to publish high-quality scientific studies of Chinese linguistics and languages (including their dialects). With this aim, the journal serves as a forum for scholars and students in the world who study all areas of Chinese linguistics and languages from all theoretical perspectives. Studies to be published in this journal can be theoretical or applied, qualitative or quantitative, synchronic or diachronic, or any combinations of the above, and interface studies, such as those looking into syntax-semantics interface, syntax-phonology interface, semantics-pragmatics interface, are encouraged. As such, this is a comprehensive and general Chinese linguistics journal which serves as a true international forum for all Chinese linguistics scholars and students regardless of their theoretical and topical interests.</p><p>It is a bilingual journal and its official languages will be English and Chinese. This journal also upholds a double-blind peer-review policy.</p>


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  • Stop codas in Old Chinese and Proto Sino-Tibetan: A lexical diffusion analysis
    • Author: Chenqing Song
    • Source: International Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2014, pages: 96 –135
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    • Reconstruction studies of Old Chinese (OC hereafter) and Proto Sino-Tibetan (PST hereafter) have yielded numerous significant discoveries related to the phonological histories of these two ancient languages. Despite recent advancements into OC and PST phonological histories, a few mysteries remain yet unsolved. One such mystery, the ‘stop coda’ problem, is as hotly debated now as it was when it was first raised seventy years ago. This long-running debate focuses on the existence and identity of the ‘stop codas’ in OC and in its parent language, PST. One reason why this debate has failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion is that the reconstruction methodology is limited, which assumes the Neogrammarian law of sound change. This law holds that sound change occurs without exception in every form that meets the structural description. Although this law applies to many sound changes in myriad world languages, it is not the only possible pathway of sound change. In this paper, I will argue that the key to the ‘stop-coda’ problem of OC belongs to another sound change type — lexical diffusion.The organization of the paper is as follows. In Part One, I will introduce the background of the debate over the ‘stop codas’ in OC. Part Two reviews previous opposing analyses of the ‘stop coda’ debate. Part Three details my proposal for a lexical diffusion analysis of the ‘stop coda’ problem based on internal evidence in Chinese. Part Four investigates the problem using the Comparative Method based on external evidence from Tibetan and loan words from Chinese to Sino-Japanese. In Part Five, I will present my solution to the ‘stop coda’ problem, which is based on the analysis in the two preceding sections. Finally, in Part Six, I will discuss the general methodology of phonological reconstruction in light of the sound change mechanism.
  • The pragmatics of existential-presentative constructions in Chinese: A discourse-based study
    • Author: Wendan Li
    • Source: International Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2014, pages: 244 –274
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    • This study examines the pragmatic and discourse properties of Chinese existential-presentative constructions in written narrative discourse. It demonstrates how the constructions are used in real communicative context. Two sub-types are distinguished: existential constructions and presentative constructions, which differ in verb types, situation types, pragmatic functions, and topic chain patterns they contribute to in discourse organization. Existential constructions designate stative situations; they are topic-comment in nature. In narrative discourse, they actively participate in various types of background descriptions. Presentative constructions introduce new entities into discourse; they designate bounded dynamic events. Some presentative sentences play a foregrounding role by introducing thematically important participants into discourse.
  • Diachronic extension of Linguistic Inventory Mightiness: Evolution of directional resultative-verb-compounds in Chinese
    • Author: Wenlei Shi
    • Source: International Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2014, pages: 293 –324
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    • It is widely believed that the order of morphosyntactic elements in Modern Chinese is to a large extent constrained by the Principle of Temporal Sequence (PTS) proposed by Tai (1985, 2002, 2007). However, there are indeed some constructions in this language apparently deviating from PTS, e.g. 蹲到 dūn-dào ‘squat-to; go to squat’, with the two elements reverse-chronological. In the present paper I provide instead a new diachronic perspective, in the framework of Linguistic Inventory Mightiness (LIM) developed recently by Liu (2011, 2012), to account for constructions of this kind. I argue that it is the diachronic extension of the directional resultative-verb-compound (DRVC) pattern, since it shows the property of LIM that motivates the emergence of reverse-chronological constructions. It is argued that the LIM approach can also explain other related diachronic changes in the history of Chinese, e.g. 摸进 mō-jìn ‘touch-enter; enter accompanied by action of touching’, with the first verb being an static action verb originally but now having a manner-of-motion meaning in the construction, as well as the constructions of 回到 huí-dào ‘return-to’ and 进来 jìn-lái ‘enter-come’ which do not exist before Pre-Modern Chinese but emerge to be in use thereafter. The approach proposed in the present paper favors a two-fold standpoint, i.e. the organization of linguistic structure on the one hand follows cognitive principles, but on the other impact and constrain related conceptual organization in discourse as well.
  • The partitive construction in Mandarin Chinese
    • Author: Jing Jin
    • Source: International Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2015, pages: 85 –120
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    • This paper investigates the semantic and syntactic properties of [N(oun)+de+Q(uantifier)] in Mandarin Chinese. Based on a comparison with the quantitive construction [Q+N], the paper advocates that [N+de+Q] is the Chinese partitive construction. Adopting a clausal approach to the syntactic derivation of partitives, it is hypothesized that Chinese partitives are formed via applying Predicate Inversion to a small clause that features a BELONG-type possession relationship. The difference between Chinese partitives and English-type partitives in terms of the surface word order is a result of a parametric variation with respect to whether the remnant of Predication Inversion undergoes further raising or not.
  • Bi-clausal sluicing approach to dislocation copying in Cantonese
    • Author: Lawrence Yam-Leung Cheung
    • Source: International Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2015, pages: 227 –272
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    • This article discusses a variant of Cantonese dislocation structures known as “dislocation copying” wherein a (non-)constituent string of the host clause gets copied at the right edge. Unlike some previous proposals, it is argued that the relationship between the host clause and the dislocated string cannot be explained purely on pragmatic grounds. Rather, a syntactic account is necessary to explain the dislocated string’s sensitivity to structure. Adopting bi-clausal analysis, we propose that dislocation copying involves the fronting of a remnant containing an elided XP to the left periphery of the second clause, followed by the sluicing of the remainder of the clause. It is argued that the dislocation string gives rise to contrastive/emphasis interpretation. We have also compared similar dislocations in Dutch, German, Japanese and Korean with Cantonese. The findings suggest that sluicing in a bi-clausal structure is common to all of these dislocation structures. The typological variation arises mainly from the different types of phrasal fronting that feed sluicing.

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