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Intensifiers and Reflexive Pronouns in English and Mandarin Chinese

A Contrastive Study


Lin Wang

The book is a study on intensifiers and reflexive pronouns between two languages (English and Mandarin Chinese) and the first one drawing a complete picture in this domain. It provides the full uses of self, zìjĭ and běnrén. In the case of běnrén, here for the first time the full use of this pronoun in Mandarin Chinese is analysed. It is also the first book that uses contrastive study to talk about intensifiers and reflexive pronouns, which reveals many hidden characteristics of the intensifiers and reflexive pronouns that otherwise cannot be seen. It is based on the most distinctive research of the latest 30 years in the linguistic field.
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C. Contrasts between Intensifiers


Both English and Mandarin Chinese have more than one intensifier; but not every one of these functionally similar expressions can be used as reflexive pronoun. My contrastive study will focus on the intensive uses of the identity expressions that can also be used as reflexive pronouns in the two languages.

The list of intensifiers in English includes self-forms as well as combinations of these forms with prepositions, in itself, by itself. Moreover, personally, in person and own can also be added to this list.

Even though ‚several varieties of a language exist and co-exist even within one and the same speaker‘ (Siemund, 2002: 50)13, my contrastive study cannot take all the varieties of English into consideration for both practical and theoretical reasons, but has to be restricted to Standard English14.

The list of intensifiers in Mandarin Chinese includes the following expressions: zìjĭ, X-zìjĭ, běnrén, X-běnrén, qīnzì, zìshēn, běnshēn, etc. Among these elements, we particularly focus on the contrasts between zìjĭ, X-zìjĭ, běnrén, X-běnrén and self-forms in English, since these four identity expressions show a much higher percentage of occurrence than the others, as is shown by a corpora search (cf. Table 2 & 3). ← 47 | 48 →

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