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Title: An LFG account of empty pronouns in Mandarin Chinese
Author: Liao, Wei-Tai
ISNI:       0000 0000 9571 0005
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis incorporates a study of the syntactic distribution and pragmatic properties of empty pronouns in Mandarin Chinese (Chinese in short) from the point of view of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG). With reference to various accounts of Chinese empty pronouns by previous researchers (e.g., J. Huang 1984; Y. Huang 1995; Pan and Hu 2000) and the problems with their analyses, we offer a conjunctive approach to capture how Chinese zero anaphora is constrained at the level of syntax and the level of pragmatics. A series of syntactic rules are proposed and every occurrence of Chinese empty pronouns must strictly obey these absolute, inviolable syntactic constraints. Intersententially, discourse-dependent pragmatic conditions based on Lambrecht’s (1994) information-structure theory form the second part of our two-way characterization of Chinese empty pronouns. Lastly, we present a comparison between the case study of empty pronouns in Japanese by Kameyama (1985) and our current study of empty pronouns in Chinese, and demonstrate two distinctive pro-drop phenomena. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the notion of pro-drop, types of empty pronouns identified in Chinese, and the theoretical frameworks assumed in this study. Chapter 2 reviews three different previous analyses of Chinese empty pronouns, discusses the problems each account suffers, and promotes an integrating account which takes both syntax and pragmatics into consideration. Chapter 3 investigates the syntactic distribution of Chinese zero anaphora, whilst Chapter 4 provides a contrasting pragmatic characterization, followed by an examination of our proposal by testing it in naturalistic data and then a comparative study of Chinese and Japanese empty pronouns in Chapter 5. Finally, Chapter 6 summarizes the previous chapters, points out relevant issues that are not covered in this thesis but which could be research topics for future investigation, and reiterates how LFG is useful in this present work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available