Sichuan International Studies University a Syntactic Analysis of the Chinese Bi Comparative Construction
|Course||Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics|
|Keywords||comparative marker bi comparative construction syntactic structure logical frame|
The comparative construction is acknowledged as an important andindispensable sentence pattern in language communication, which has been widelydiscussed by many linguists. However, the English comparative construction studyhas been their focus for a long time. In general, the Chinese comparative constructionstudy is mainly from the perspectives of traditional semantics, syntax and theinterface study of formal semantics and syntax.The controversies on the studies of Chinese comparative construction in syntaxstart with the definition of the identity of bi, the comparative marker, i.e. whether biis conjunction, verb, or preposition. Different categorical judgments of bi directlydetermine the different syntactic analysis of the comparative construction. Generally,there are at least four syntactic analyses which are Conjunctional Analysis,Adjuntional Analysis, Prepositional Analysis, and Verbal Analysis. These analyses dogreatly contribute to the exploration of the identity of bi as well as the syntacticstructure of comparative construction. However, they are mainly based on thesyntactical description of the linear order, overlooking the syntactic position in logic.Therefore, the major defects of the previous studies are the interferences ofphenomena and the confusion of diachronic with synchronic study, which may leadto describe one fixed comparative type in the syntactic analysis.With the minimalist spirit, this thesis manages to solve the problems in theprevious studies, and intends to reanalyze the syntactic structure of the Chinese bicomparative construction by logical derivation. On the basis of redefining theidentity of bi, the thesis firstly argues that the implausibility of bi as a verb andconjunction. Secondly, it analyzes the necessity of the maximal projection headed bybi as PP, states the real VP in the Chinese comparative construction and therelationship between bi and other categories in sentence. Lastly, according to thebasic frame of human language, the thesis aims to reduct the syntactic hypothesis of the overt comparative construction in human language through some cross-languageevidences.Firstly, this study asserts that the bi comparative construction presents theproperty of adjunct. Secondly, bi belongs to the category of preposition that is anunnecessary element for VP in a sentence. Therefore, its logic scope is not only overVP, but over the frame F[S [NP VP]] to play the semantic inflection of comparison.Thirdly, as an independent category, the comparative marker bi has its own maximalprojection reanalyzed as PP. This reanalysis manages to explain the generativeposition of bi in the syntactic structure, and also provides the possibility to solve theproblem of the relation between bi and other elements. In addition, the new proposalmay offer the possibility to analyze the cross-linguistic data in comparativeconstruction under the hypothesis of PP.