A Cognitive Approach to Semantic Disorientation in Mandarin I —Theoretical Prerequisites and a Case Study
Keywords:semantic disorientation, cognitive linguistics, description & explanation frame-work, verb-complement construction
Semantic disorientation refers to the phenomenon where sentence constituents with direct syntactic relations have no direct semantic linkage. The phenomenon is ubiquitous in Mandarin and related structures have been frequent research topics in the field of Chinese language study. However, there’s no systemic description of their syntactic and semantic features, nor in-depth exploration of the linguistic and non-linguistic motivations. From the perspective of cognitive linguistics, the current study approaches this phenomenon with a usage-based and non-derivational language view. The phenomenon is defined and categorized on the cognitive and psychological basis and a descriptive and explanative frame-work is built for a more accurate and adequate account of the phenomenon. The syntactic and semantic features, as well as the linguistic and non-linguistic motivations of the disoriented verb-complement constructions are addressed as a case study.
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