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Freundlich, Jerzy (1988) Nominal functions and nominalisation in classical Chinese. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The present study is concerned with the identification and analysis of the major syntactic functions occurring in the classical Chinese sentence. Of these, it concentrates on those functions which exhibit one of the following two characteristics: that of initiating discourse or predication (e.g., SUBJECT); or that of being governed (e.g., OBJECT). The generic term assigned to these functions is 'nominal', and is employed not because they are always performed by members of the lexical category 'noun' (the syntactic unpredictability of classical Chinese word-classes is notorious), but because they are predominantly so performed and, significantly, because proper names, which are nouns par excellence, occur almost without exception in these functions. Although the study deals mainly with the functions described above, it is inevitable that considerable attention is also paid to other, 'verbal' functions with which the nominal functions are inextricably bound, either through governing the latter, or by forming the basis of the predication which the latter initiate. In this way it is hoped that an overall view of classical Chinese sentence structure may be presented. Known and established nominal functions such as SUBJECT and OBJECT are analysed so as to illustrate their special properties with regard to classical Chinese; hitherto unidentified functions such as CLASSIFICATORY COMPLEMENT and COMPLEMENT OF PLACE receive somewhat fuller treatment to establish their status as nominal functions. In addition, the function TOPIC is treated in some detail. The question of nominalisation also comes in for scrutiny. Qualifying under this head are those constituents which perform nominal functions but are not nouns or noun phrases. Separate chapters are devoted to both non-finite verb phrases and embedded sentences. The corpus under examination consists of concordanced pre-Han texts of the period c.500-c.250 BC, with occasional reference to earlier texts where a diachronic view is desirable.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00

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