Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



Studies in several languages find that causal connectives differ from one another in their prototypical , which provides insight into language users’ cognitive categorization of causal relations in discourse. Subjectivity plays a vital role in this process. Using an integrated subjectivity approach, this study aims to give a comprehensive picture of the semantic-pragmatic distinctions between Mandarin connectives ‘since’ and ‘because’. The data come from spontaneous conversation, microblog, and newspaper discourse, while most previous studies have focused only on written data. The results show that, despite the contextual differences in discourse from each corpus, the connectives display distinctive and robust profiles. is subjective. It prototypically expresses and causalities featuring and in the consequent. (subject of consciousness) is actively involved yet remains in the utterances. , by contrast, is objective. It typically expresses and causalities featuring the consequent of and which are usually independent of SoCs. is neutral in general, with a slight preference to and relations, to the consequent of , and to Only one interaction with discourse style is found: in relations introduced by the linguistic realization of the SoC varies across corpora: significantly more yet few cases in microblogs, yet the opposite is true in conversations. The specific profile of , depending on the ordering of the antecedent and the consequent, is robust across corpora. Furthermore, the relative importance of the associated subjectivity features is determined. In conclusion, the study contributes to our understanding of causal coherence and extends the empirical database that supports the claims of a cognitive account of causal coherence relations.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Mandarin reason connective; multi-style discourse; subjectivity
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