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The compound and complex sentences in Chinese: punctuation as a means of parsing
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Topic:  The compound and complex sentences in Chinese: punctuation as a means of parsing
posted itemPosted - 23/05/2001 :  10:03:55
Department of Chinese, Translation & Linguistics & Institute of Chinese Linguistics Summer Seminar Series on Chinese Linguistics (3) The compound and complex sentences in Chinese: punctuation as a means of parsing By: Professor Tsai-Fa Cheng University of Wisconsin - Madison Time: 2:30 - 4:00 pm Date: Wednesday, 13 June 2001 Venue: Lecture Room P4801, Academic Building, CityU (To be confirmed) Abstract: I would take a closer look of the compound and complex classical and modern Chinese sentences, and argue that punctuations can be used to mark a certain Chinese intonations, which in many other languages are accompanied by connectives. The compound and complex sentences are less studied in general. In English, this can be justified, because these types of sentences are marked with connectives; while in Chinese, since connetives are not necessarily used, one can not see the whole picture of the structures of compound and complex sentences by studying the simple and embedded sentences alone. On top of this, the current punctuation system fails to take into accounnt the "missing links" which is discernable only in intonation. Linguistically this makes many syntactic problems the subject matters of discourse analysis. This also results in a general misconception that Chinese sentences are either short or simply the juxtaposition of long ones. In teaching Chinese, modern and classical Chinese alike, this simplified view of Chinese syntactic structures has created a serious problem. For instence, students do well in short sentences, but have trouble in speaking or reading long ones. Although linguists have studied compound and complex sentences under the labels of 連動、 遞繫、 緊縮, in general practice, against the native feeling, a sentence of these types is usually seen as the juxtaposition of short sentences, in which all the sentences except for the first one have a zero subject. A systematic marking to denote the "missing links" in structures by means of punctuation is definitely desirable. About the Speaker: Tsai-Fa Cheng, a native of Xinzhu, Taiwan, received his BA and MA degrees, majoring in Chinese literature and Chinese linguistics, from Taiwan University, and Ph.D. majoring in linguistics from University of Wisconsin - Madison. He has been with both the Dept. of East Asian Lnaguages and literature and the Religious Studies Program of UW-Madison, teaching mainly Chinese historical linguistics and philosophical classics such as the Yi-Jing. He also serves as -Y¥oa‥s-u in both the Institute of History and Philology and the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, Taipei. His major area of studies is Chinese historical phonology. He has a book, Ancient Chinese and Early Mandarin, published by the Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Berkeley. He is interested in applying his study of historical phonology to the fields of dilectology, historical syntax, and etymology, and applying his linguistic study to the Chinese classical studies. In the latter area, he has recently finished the first draft of a translation of the original texts of the Yi-Jing. He is also interested in classical poetry. In this area, he is working on a book on the formation and development of the metrics of regulated poems. Enquiries: 2788-8705 ___________________ All are welcome! ____________________


Enquiry: LTenquiry@cityu.edu.hk