Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Affective stance in constructional idioms: A usage-based constructionist approach to Mandarin [you X you Y]




List of Authors: Huijing Wang, Heidi Hui Shi, Zhuo Jing-Schmidt

Publisher: ELSEVIER

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Journal of Pragmatics

Journal name in source: JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS

Journal acronym: J PRAGMATICS

Volume number: 177

Number of pages: 22

ISSN: 0378-2166

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2021.02.004


Abstract
The Mandarin Chinese [you X you Y] is a semi-formulaic construction with two open slots X and Y, which admit a range of lexical input. Existing studies of this constructional idiom are incomplete due to the lack of a theoretical commitment to construction-level form-function pairing on the one hand and limitations in empirical data to support putative structural constraints on the other hand. This study takes a usage-based constructionist approach and offers quantitative and qualitative analyses of both naturally occurring corpus data and elicited native speaker response data. Our corpus-based findings demonstrate that [you X you Y] as a constructional idiom is highly productive, admitting all three major lexical classes in its open slots with a preponderance of adjectives. Structural constraints on X and Y are subject to frequency of use and idiosyncrasies of lexical input. The compositional semantics of X and Y concentrates in the perceptual and evaluative domains of experience. Results from the response data demonstrate that [you X you Y] expresses personal affective stance (i.e. personal liking or disliking) toward the perceptual information specified in the X and Y slots. Native speakers are not only aware of, but are able to employ, this constructional meaning in affectively appropriate contexts when given options that differed in constructional pattern but not in core lexical input. Together, our findings point to the expression of personal affective stance as the constructional pragmatic function of [you X you Y] that is larger than the sum of the meanings of the components. (C) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Last updated on 2022-04-04 at 18:03