Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper studies the correlation between grounding and transitivity in Chinese narratives and conversations based on the ten Transitivity features proposed by Hopper and Thompson (1980), to examine the universality of the correlation across different spoken discourse and different languages. According to the percentages of high-transitivity features vis-à-vis grounding, highly transitive clauses in Chinese narratives, just like English written narratives, tend to be foregrounded. However, such correlation is not borne out in conversational discourse, in that highly transitive clauses are almost equally distributed in foreground and background. As conversations are more pervasive and reflect people’s habitual use of language, it is concluded that grounding is independent of the morphosyntactic and semantic manifestations of transitivity.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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