Exploring the logical resources of Chinese nominal groups: a systemic functional approach

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    Abstract

    Since 1970s, a growing number of systemic functional descriptions of languages other English have been undertaken (see Matthiessen 2007). In the case of Chinese, the most significant lexicogrammatical attention is given to clause and verbal groups (such as McDonald 1998; Li 2007). This gives the present author an incentive to investigate nominal groups in Chinese. Drawing upon systemic functional linguistic theory on lexicogrammar (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004; Matthiessen 1995), the present study aims to explore the logical resources provided by nominal groups of Mandarin Chinese. The description will go into two parts: firstly, I will give an overview of the logical resources that the Chinese nominal group can provide, exploring the logical metafunction in terms of Taxis and Logico-semantic relations; secondly, I will investigate the logical complexity of the nominal group by looking at the modification structure as well as the complexity of embedding. The study aims to provide a new perspective in doing text analysis and also make contribution to the typological descriptive work on nominal groups. Finally, a case study will be presented, where the nominal groups used in two authentic texts in the same field are compared in terms of logical metafunction. The case study aims to illustrate how the logical complexity of the nominal groups is presented to help create registerial features of a text.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTo boldly proceed
    Subtitle of host publicationpapers from the 39th International Systemic Functional Congress
    EditorsJohn Knox
    Place of PublicationSydney
    PublisherOrganising Committee of the 39th International Systemic Functional Congress
    Pages99-104
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)9780646582573
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventInternational Systemic Functional Congress (39th : 2012) - Sydney
    Duration: 16 Jul 201220 Jul 2012

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational Systemic Functional Congress (39th : 2012)
    CitySydney
    Period16/07/1220/07/12

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