A CATEGORIAL GRAMMAR ANALYSIS OF CHINESE SEPARABLE COMPOUNDS AND PHRASES
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AbstractThe lexicon of modern Chinese is composed mainly of disyllabic compound words; some of the compounds are separable, while others are not. Hindered by problems with the definition of the Chinese word and by the concept of separate grammatical levels on which morphological, syntactic and semantic processes occur, previous linguistic studies have been unable to fully account for the separability of some compounds and for the relationship of compound separability to phrase separability. This dissertation finds that, with morphemes having the same syntactic association with other morphemes that words or phrases have with other words or phrases, categorial rules logically explain the common syntax of Chinese words and phrases. In categorial grammar analysis based on the work of Ajdukiewicz (1935), Montague (1974), Partee (1972; 1975), and Bach (1983; 1984), categories are determined by functions associating the expressions in component sets, and syntactic operations build categories up into larger derived categories according to specified functor-argument relations. In the present analysis of Chinese, to the set of the non-verb general category belong morphemes, words and phrases whose form classes are not verbs and which are generic names. Argument expressions, both compound words and verb phrases which belong to this category, combine with the intransitive/non-verb general functor to form the IV category. Rules operating by concatenation, cliticization and wrapping account for the occurrence of resultative expressions, aspect markers, and expressions of time duration or time frequency between the components of separable compounds. Further, the hierarchy of thematic roles devised by Jackendoff (1972) is applied to account for cases in which the functors in IV combine with more than one argument. In this way, an analysis which combines principles of morphology, syntax and semantics is able to account for the identity of compound and phrase separability and derive grammatical sentences for the language.