Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Comparisons of Chinese adverbs and is a long-standing topic in Chinese linguistics. Previous studies tend to mix up different uses of and , often leading to unnecessary confusion. This study focuses on the repetition use of these two adverbs, and demonstrates that in two syntactic environments – sentences with and without quantitative phrases – the nuances between and can both be captured by the hypothesis that “[+increasing]” is more essential for to deliver the repetition reading while “[+similar]” is more essential for to deliver the same reading. Based on conceptual correlations shared cross-linguistically, it is argued that the “[+similar]” feature facilitates the shift from the notion “inverted-sequence” to the notion “repetition” whereas the “[+increasing]” feature serves as an indispensable link between the notion “increment” and the notion “repetition”. Therefore, for the notion “repetition”, it is widely seen that a variety of languages use two devices to code it, one emphasizing the “[+similar]” feature and the other emphasizing the “[+increasing]” feature, and Chinese and is just one of such cases. In this way, the cross-linguistic perspective is proved to offer insights to explorations on language-specific issues as it provides accounts that are deep-rooted in the conceptual level.


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