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Title: Speaker-oriented adverbs and cross-propositional logic : a case study of the Mandarin adverb pianpian
Authors: Zhou, Mi
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Previous studies have discussed how speaker-oriented adverbs (i.e. adverbs which represent speaker's judgement towards a proposition) influence a single proposition, but the phenomenon that some speaker-oriented adverbs can affect cross-propositional logic (i.e. logical relation cross multiple propositions like contradictory relation) has rarely been discussed in the relevant literature. The aim of this dissertation is to provide evidence to the latter phenomenon by the case study of Mandarin Chinese adverb 偏偏 pianpian through three perspectives - corpus analysis, behavior experiment and theoretical discussion. With corpus evidence, I claim that pianian is an exclusive and scalar focus particle with three levels of meanings: a. proposition of focus (current proposition pianpian appears in) is true; b. proposition of alternative (explicit or implicit contradictory proposition of current proposition) is false (i.e. proposition of alternative proposition is excluded); c. the speaker evaluates the current event as more unexpected or undesirable than the alternative event. These meanings related to pianpian sentences suggest that evaluative adverb pianpian affects cross-propositional logic especially through relationship of current proposition between alternative proposition or evaluation sentences sometimes occurring in preceding or following context of current proposition. Two truth-value judgement experiments have been conducted to test the exclusiveness of pianpian. Experiment 1 compares pianpian with只(有) zhi (you) 'only', 還(有) hai (you) 'also' and zero maker in a negative response environment and Experiment 2 contrasts pianpian with zero marker in plain environment. Results of both experiments show that pianpian excludes alternative propositions, which supports the claim I made in corpus analysis part that pianpian is an exclusive focus particle. In the theoretical discussion part, I argue that the various behaviors of the different levels of meanings of pianpian sentences categorize its focus proposition (current proposition) as assertion, its alternative proposition as entailment of current proposition, expectation of alternative proposition and speaker's evaluation of unexpectedness or undesirableness as implicature of current proposition. In conclusion, by using corpus data, quantitative truth-value judgement experiment and related theories, this research shows that some speaker-oriented adverbs influence logical relation of related propositions (i.e. cross-propositional logic) instead of a single proposition through case study of Mandarin adverb pianpian.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Chinese language -- Adverb
Conversation analysis
Pages: x, 192 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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