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A Discourse Grammar of Mandarin Chinese


Chauncey C. Chu

A Discourse Grammar of Mandarin Chinese focuses on the relationships between clauses in Mandarin Chinese in the functional framework. Underlying these relationships are notions like modality, presupposition, topicality, and information structure, encoded by such devices as conjunction, aspect, topic, «sentence»-particles and subordination. Chauncey Chu devotes a chapter to each of these devices, with a view to discovering their contribution to the coherent organization of Chinese discourse. These devices are finally integrated into a network, culminating in a proposal of «the discourse sentence» (represented by SENTENCE) to replace the syntactically and/or semantically defined «traditional» sentence. The organization of SENTENCES into paragraphs also is discussed in the framework of Rhetorical Structure Theory.