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Description, Typology, Fieldwork

Themes and actions

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Team webmaster : Anetta KOPECKA

Deixis in the expression of movement in Mandarin Chinese

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Scientific framework and objectives

This PhD thesis which started in 2015 thanks to fellowship from the China Scholarship Council, is supervised by Anetta Kopecka (Lyon2, Lyon) and Christine Lamarre (Inalco, Paris). The thesis is carried out within the frame of the cross-linguistic project Deixis dynamique of the Federation TUL (CNRS) and of the axe DTT in the laboratory DDL, which concerns a typological description of motion events in Mandarin Chinese (Sinitic / Sino-Tibetan). The main objective of this thesis is to study how speakers of Mandarin Chinese conceptualize motion in space, with a special focus on the expression of PATH (directionality of movement: source/median/goal) and DEIXIS (perspective with respect to a viewpoint: centripetal/centrifugal/transversal). More specifically, our research will focus on the following points: (1) possible constructional types for expressing movement; (2) expression of DYNAMIC DEIXIS and the factors, both linguistic (oral vs written modality, temporality vs aspectuality) and extra-linguistic (situation types, horizontal vs vertical orientation) that may play a role in the expression of the viewpoint; (3) different spatiotemporal portion and the phenomena of asymmetry in the expression of PATH and DEIXIS; (4) phenomena of grammaticalisation of deictic verbs and the relation between the degree of grammaticalisation and its usage in the expression of movement. We plan to develop a database, during the fieldtrip in China, based both oral and written forms, by using videos clips « Put & Take » (Bowerman, Gullberg, Majid, Bhuvana, 2004), « Trajectoire » (Ishibashi, Kopecka, Vuillermet, 2006), as well as two larger corpora, The University of Beijing and The Lancaster Corpus of Mandarin Chinese.

  Financial support
  • Allocation Doctorale du gouvernement chinois
    Dynamic deixis in the expression of motion events in Mandarin Chinese
    China Scholarship Council

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