A Pragmatic and Semantic Study
4. Analysis of Particle a with Declaratives 69
69 4. Analysis of Particle a with Declaratives This chapter focuses on the use of particle a with declarative sentences uttered in discourse contexts and on the semantic properties of the particle deduced from its use. 1 Following the criterion commonly adopted by Chinese grammarians, this study puts an uttered sentence into the declarative category if it is used to present a situation, a state of affairs, or a personal view or belief. The analysis of the data has lead to the iden- tification of two semantic functions of particle a with declaratives, which are termed ‘volitive’ and ‘surprisive’ respectively in this book. When attached to a declarative sentence, particle a in the volitive function con- veys the speaker’s strong wish (i.e. volition) that the addressee will act in the way as desired by the speaker towards what has been said in the declarative. 2 The surprisive function of particle a with a declarative, on the other hand, refers specifically to the function of the particle in denoting the 1 In the literature of linguistics, a distinction is often drawn between ‘utterance’ and ‘sentence’. This distinction is described by Hoye (1997: 70): ‘The term “utterance” is a pragmatic notion which refers to speaker meaning and the production of spoken and written stretches of language in a given context. The term contrasts with the traditional notion of sentence, which refers to syntactic structure and the gram- matical relations between words and what these mean independent of context. A sentence is a...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.