Volume 48, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1810-7478
  • E-ISSN: 2589-5230
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Managing near-synonymous morphosyntactic constructions in language is often at the core of a speaker’s grammatical competence. This study investigates the usage patterns of four near-synonymous degree adverb constructions (i.e., , and ) in the Taiwan Mandarin Corpus in TalkBank. After retrieving the concordance lines of these four constructions from the corpus, we manually annotated their co-occurring linguistic patterns/structures at multiple linguistic levels. In particular, we utilized a corpus-based behavioral profile approach to determine the interrelationship of the four constructions based on their distributional patterns and identified their distinctive behavioral patterns, producing a comprehensive delineation of their functional differences. Our analysis suggests that these four constructions fall into two super-clusters, i.e., - and - and differ mainly in the pragmatic sentiments of their associated predicates, their co-occurrences with the nominalization structure, and their productivity in lexicalization. and differ mainly in their co-occurrences with the final particle , the semantic and pragmatic functions of their associated predicates, and the semantics of their associated head nouns. We have also connected these corpus-based distributional patterns to previous research findings, demonstrating the effectiveness and applicability of the behavioral profile approach for the analysis of near-synonymous morphosyntactic alternations in language.


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