Processing relative clauses in Chinese

asan82

高级会员
汉语界没有“关系分句”这种说法吧?文章里也没有下一个准确的定义。
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
Excerpts from Wong, May Lai-Yin (2005) "Adverbial Clauses in Mandarin Chinese: A Corpus-based Study", PhD thesis, Lancaster University-


Relative clauses have long been a source of controversy in Chinese linguistics. Some scholars (e.g. Li and Thompson, 1989:579ff; Aoun and Li, 1993; Chiu, 1993; Wu, 2000) believe that a nominalisation (whereby a verb, verb phrase, or sentence, followed by the particle de, functions as a noun phrase) can be called a relative clause in Chinese if the head noun that it modifies refers to an unspecified element involved in the situation described by the nominalisation. On the other hand, Chao (1968), among others, does not adopt the notion of relative clause in his descriptive grammar of Chinese. Relative clauses may not exist in Chinese for at least two reasons. First, rather than a relativiser, the particle 的 de, as Chao (1968:285) points out, is a marker of explicit modification. It is inserted after the premodifier of a noun phrase to make explicit the modifier-modified structure. Zhu (1982 and 2000) also notes that this particle is “multi-functional” in that it can be a genitive marker, a marker of nominalisation, and an adjectival marker. It is therefore not a proper “counterpart” of the English relative pronoun which is “unifunctional” (except that). The second reason is that some relative clauses do not actually include a gap that the head noun can co-refer to. So far scholars have been considering relative clauses to be clauses in which either the subject or object is missing, thereby producing a gap that co-refers to the head noun the relative clauses modify. Such gaps are used as evidence to prove the existence of relative clauses in Chinese. However, such a gap does not always exist. In this case the so-called relative clause marked by the particle de is a well-formed clause without any missing subject or object. In cases such as this, two conflicting explanations were proposed. Chu and Chi (1999:226) claim that the construction is no longer a relative clause but an appositive clause on the grounds that no gap can be identified in the noun phrase and they use this as a definitive test for distinguishing a relative clause from an appositive clause. Yet, Xue et al. (2000:80ff) and Li and Thompson (1989:582ff) still perceive it as a relative clause though with an PP trace rather than an NP trace; it differs from the relative clause with an NP trace in that the gap is an adjunct position.
 

asan82

高级会员
好复杂啊,不过这样研究汉语是不是将英语中的概念强加于汉语呢?
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
下例中“的”是否是同一个“的”?

1)我的童年
2)捡破烂的小孩
3)不就是个捡破烂的吗?有什么了不起!
 

xusun575

高级会员
They are all the de's , but do you mean that there should be different iconic forms of de to indicate different grammatical meanings or relations? Since there is no such "relative word" in Chinese, no space could be there for the so called "Chinese relative clauses". Is there any Chinese scholar who would accept "de" as a relative word or something? We have our own tradition.Chinese language study should not be restrained and polluted by blindly following the imported theory and theories.
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
I think the first two are the same, but the third is used to form a nominal construction. If the second is to be viewed as relative clause marker, the first should be too, but the first is not a clause. De in the first two examples have the same function.
 

xuyi

普通会员
'Chinese language study should not be restrained and polluted by blindly following the imported theory and theories' ==i disagree. Language is universal. You should read Chomsky. It's just not convincing to say that only Chinese is different. Whether it is called relative clause or not, something in essence is the same. Hsiao & Gibson's article is a famous one, and the PhD thesis makes sense to me. Only, shouldn't they give an example of the non-existence of the "gap"? I'm lost in that part.
 

xusun575

高级会员
回复:Processing relative clauses in Chinese

以下是引用 xuyi2006-3-23 14:06:56 的发言:
'Chinese language study should not be restrained and polluted by blindly following the imported theory and theories' ==i disagree. Language is universal. You should read Chomsky. It's just not convincing to say that only Chinese is different. Whether it is called relative clause or not, something in essence is the same. Hsiao & Gibson's article is a famous one, and the PhD thesis makes sense to me. Only, shouldn't they give an example of the non-existence of the "gap"? I'm lost in that part.
Chomsky's concern now is mostly with politics. It's true that language is universal but it does not mean that any language should be explained by a so called "universal" theory. Diversity is spice for language study,too.
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
"Language is univerisal" is a categorical statement. (Human) Language is universal in the sense that is based on common human experience, thus a large part of natural language semantics is common. Language is universal also in the sense that it is for communication. HOWEVER, each individual language has itw language specific features.
 

xuyi

普通会员
Dr. Xiao, i have a question:
下例中“的”是否是同一个“的”?
1)我的童年
2)捡破烂的小孩
3)不就是个捡破烂的吗?有什么了不起!
I feel they are all different. Why do you say that 1) and 2) have the same function? I feel 1) is genitive and 2) is the relative marker.
 

xuyi

普通会员
Dr.Xiao I also couldn't find this dissertation Wong, May Lai-Yin (2005) "Adverbial Clauses in Mandarin Chinese: A Corpus-based Study" in our library's database. Where can i get it? Many thanks in advance!
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
回复:Processing relative clauses in Chinese

If you are a believer of relative clauses in Chinese, there is a difference as you said; otherwise, de can be viewed as a modification marker in both of the first two instances.


以下是引用 xuyi2006-4-16 8:55:54 的发言:
Dr. Xiao, i have a question:
下例中“的”是否是同一个“的”?
1)我的童年
2)捡破烂的小孩
3)不就是个捡破烂的吗?有什么了不起!
I feel they are all different. Why do you say that 1) and 2) have the same function? I feel 1) is genitive and 2) is the relative marker.
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
回复:Processing relative clauses in Chinese

You should contact May for this: http://www.geocities.com/wlymay/

以下是引用 xuyi2006-4-16 9:26:57 的发言:
Dr.Xiao I also couldn't find this dissertation Wong, May Lai-Yin (2005) "Adverbial Clauses in Mandarin Chinese: A Corpus-based Study" in our library's database. Where can i get it? Many thanks in advance!
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
Another paper on relative clause in Chinese:

Lin, Jo-wang (2003) “On Restrictive and Non-restrictive Relative Clauses in Mandarin Chinese”, Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Studies, New Series, Volume 33 (1): 199-240.

http://www.fl.nctu.edu.tw/~jowang/database/Relative%20Clause.pdf
 

xiaoz

永远的超级管理员
Staff member
Another Phd thesis on relative clauses in Chinese -

http://venus.unive.it/fdelgobb/Del_Gobbo_dissertation.pdf
 

xuyi

普通会员
Dr. Xiao (ask again). I asked May for a copy of the dissertation. But it doens't seem to have anything to do with relative clauses. I searched the PDF for the first sentence of the excertp and searched for "relative clause" alone; it doesn't seem as if the file has those words. Could it be from someone else's dissertation?
 
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