|Titre||Coordinate structure “yòu…yòu…” in Mandarin Chinese: A semantic and syntactic analysis|
|Année de publication||2015|
|Titre de la conférence||The First International Forum on Linguistics in Chinese Education|
|Date de publication||05/2015|
|Mots-clés||coordinate structures, syntax, “yòu…yòu…, ” semantics|
The structure “yòu…yòu…” is generally thought to coordinate predicates of a same subject. It describes coexisting properties or indicates actions that occur in the same time frame, and their conjuncts must belong to the same semantic domain (1-a). However, these descriptions are insufficient. Semantically, they could not explain why (1-b) is inacceptable. Syntactically, coordination of predicates with different subjects is actually possible (2-a), while constraints on it need to be specified (2-b). After analyzing 2096 examples of “yòu…yòu…,” we propose that (i) conjuncts of “yòu…yòu…” should agree on their aspectual features and that (ii) “yòu…yòu…” may coordinate predicates with different subjects if these predicates do not form independent sentences. Semantically, “yòu…yòu…” requires that aspectual features of their conjuncts be symmetrical; asymmetric combinations are either inacceptable or marked. When the structure coordinates dynamic predicates to indicate specific actions, the conjuncts must agree on their telicity (3-a, 3-b). When a stative predicate is coordinated with a dynamic one, the dynamic predicate should either have a habitual reading (3-c) or be marked by a perfective marker (3-d): the former strategy makes a dynamic situation stative, and the latter presents it as an indecomposable whole on the axis of time, which makes it possible to be viewed as a property of an individual. Syntactically, “yòu…yòu…” may coordinate predicates with different subjects in two conditions: (i) the coordinated propositions are related to another proposition in the sentence to indicate the cause (4-a, 4-b); (ii) the coordinated propositions share a same topic and serve to describe its properties (2-a). In other words, “yòu…yòu…” do not coordinate independent sentences (2-b). In the first condition, “yòu…yòu…” coordinates two subordinate propositions. In the second, the topic can be analyzed as a subject and the coordinated propositions as its predicates. To sum up, conjuncts of “yòu…yòu…” should not only belong to identical semantic domain but also have symmetric aspectual features. This structure may coordinate predicates with different subjects while it does not coordinate different sentences. Our findings complement the grammar of “yòu…yòu…” described in existing literature and could be useful to the teaching of this structure.
(1) a. Xiǎomíng yòu xǐ wǎn / *xǐzǎo yòu zuò wǎnfàn.
Xiaoming again wash bowl / take-a-bath again make dinner
‘Xiaoming both did the dishes/*took a shower and made the dinner.’
b. ??Xiǎomíng yòu xǐ-hǎo wǎn yòu zuò wǎnfàn.
Xiaoming again wash-done bowl again make dinner
‘Xiaoming both finished the dishes and made the dinner.’
(2) a. (*Zài) zhèi jiā gōngsī, chǎnpǐn yòu hǎo / dé-guò jiǎng, fúwù
at this Cl. company, product again good/get-Exp. price, service
‘The products of this company are good/have won a prize and its service
b. (Zài) zhèi jiā gōngsī, jīnglǐ (*yòu) guǎnlǐ lǎo kèhù, yuángōng
at this Cl. company, manager again manage old client, employee
(*yòu) kāifā xīn kèhù.
again develop new client
‘In this company, the manager takes care of old clients and the
employees develop new ones.’
(3) a. Xuéshēng-men yòu tīng kè yòu xiě(-??xià) bǐjì.
student-Pl. again listen lesson again write-down note
‘The students both listened to the lectures and wrote down some notes.’
b. Xiǎomíng yòu chàng-le gē, yòu tiào??(-le) wǔ.
Xiaoming again sing-Acp. song, again dance-Acp. dance
‘Xiaoming both sang and danced.’
c. Tā yòu lǎnduò yòu ??(shícháng) tōu dōngxi.
s/he again lazy again often steal thing
‘S/he is lazy and often steals things.’
d. Yí ge yòu jié*(-guò/-le) hūn yòu yǒu háizi de nánrén…
one Cl. again marry-Exp./Acp. marriage again have child Rel. man
‘a man who had a marriage and who has a kid… / a man who is married
and has a kid…’
(4) a. Lóutī yòu lǎojiù, Xú tàitai yòu pàng, ??(zǒu de zīzīgēgē yí piàn xiǎng).
stair again old, Xu Mrs. again fat, walk DE creaking one Cl. sound
‘The stairs were old and Mrs. Xu was fat. When she walked down, it
made creaking noises.’
b. Bàba yòu xù jiǔ / líjiāchūzǒu, māmā yòu shēng-le
father again abuse alcohol / leave-home, mother again catch-Acp.
bìng, ?(wǒ zhēn bù zhīdào gāi zěnme bàn.)
sickness, I really Neg. know have-to how do
‘Dad is alcoholic/has left home and Mom is sick, I really don’t know what