Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Recent corpus studies have shown that differences in subjectivity − the degree to which speakers express themselves in an utterance − can account for the usage of causal connectives (because, so) in major European languages. If the notion of subjectivity is a basic cognitive principle, it ought to play a role in the description of connectives in other languages. In this paper, we present a corpus analysis of five Mandarin result connectives, kĕjiàn, suŏyĭ, yīncĭ, yīn’ér, and yúshì. We used four subjectivity indicators: modality, domain (following Sweetser 1990), and the presence and identity of a Subject of Consciousness – the person responsible for constructing the causal relation. Results show that kĕjiàn, suŏyĭ, yīncĭ, yīn’ér, and yúshì display different degrees of subjectivity. To a large degree, our findings corroborate previous observations in the literature (e.g. the ones in Xing 2001). However, our analysis also shows that while kĕjiàn, yúshì, and yīn’ér have robust profiles across genres, the subjective meanings of suŏyĭ and yīncĭ, two common connectors, are genre sensitive.


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