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A study of information structure and sentence mood in Hokkien syntax

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Item Summary

Title:A study of information structure and sentence mood in Hokkien syntax
Authors:Chan, Leok Har
Keywords:Chinese language -- Dialects -- China -- Fujian Sheng
Chinese language -- Grammar, Generative
Chinese language -- Syntax
Chinese language -- Topic and comment
Date Issued:1982
Abstract:Within the general framework of a generative transformational grammar, this dissertation examines the interaction of information structure (i .e. given and new information) with syntactic structures in Hokkien. Evidence is given to show that it is advantageous to consider Hokkien as a topic-prominent language and to assume that every sentence is underlyingly (though not necessarily superficially) a topic-comment structure--an analysis that is more suitable for Hokkien than the traditional S→NP VP analysis. In conjunction with this, a number of object-initial constructions are examined and are found to be informationally conditioned, requiring the initial noun phrase to be given information. In contrast to these are passive constructions where the initial noun phrases are logical objects which can be either definite or indefinite. These are not informationally constrained but rather they are semantically constrained, requiring the initial noun phrases to be Patients. With respect to syntactic structure, we argue that there is an important dichotomy in Hokkien--a dichotomy between Indicative mood sentences and Injunctive mood sentences. Injunctive mood sentences are subjectless structures which are restricted as to verb type, aspect, type of negation, time reference and complementizers. Indicative mood sentences are much freer in these respects. Where Injunctive mood sentences require zero pronominalization in subject position, Indicatives require lexical proforms. Semantically, Injunctive mood sentences represent only actions and the actions are always unrealized. In short, this dissertation demonstrates that two kinds of phenomena are involved in Hokkien structure, the first being information structure and the second, sentence mood
Description:Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1982.
Bibliography: leaves 149-157.
xii, 157 leaves, bound ill. 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Linguistics

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