Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Previous studies based on observations of different languages have shown that phrase is the integral unit of speech formulation and articulation. Evidence from Mandarin Chinese, however, is scant. This research, therefore, sets out to explore whether the speech processing unit of Chinese spoken communication resembles that of other languages by examining its anticipatory retracing configurations in repair-related discourse. Results show that when doing repairs with the initiation strategy of speech retracing, speakers consistently return to various phrasal unit boundaries in the original utterances to restore their suspended articulations, showing that Mandarin speakers indeed organize narrative discourse on the basis of phrasal constituents. Based on the results of the present research, mental capacities of the speakers are deemed to have an impact on the syntactic scopes of anticipatory retracings in reconstructed speeches. This study thus contributes to the literature on units of speech planning from a typologically different language and raises questions about the status of the phrase in Mandarin grammar.


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