Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This study examines the grounding functions of eight basic clause types in Chinese written narrative. It demonstrates that variations in constituent order and clause structure are a major means to designate events versus states at the clause level and ultimately a device to encode foregrounding versus backgrounding distinction. While perfective clauses in the canonical SV(O) word order typically designate major events and are signposts of foregrounding, deviations from this prototype tend to be interpreted as stative predications in the background. Variations in constituent order and clause structure even override the verb form in indicating situation types and grounding functions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): clause structure; discourse grammar; grounding; narrative; word order
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