China Seminar 30 November 2011

CHINA SEMINAR | 30 NOVEMBER 2011| Wei-lin Lu| Chinese
postpositions in use: The case of shang


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Chinese postpositions in use: The case of shang (上)

Speaker:  Dr. Louis
Wei-lin Lu
Expertise:  Cognitive Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Lexical Semantics

Date and time:  Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 15.15 – 17.00h
Venue:  Arsenaal
building, room 014
Language:  English

In this talk, I will explore the meanings in use of Chinese postpositions,
using shang
(上) as an illustration. I will
present two major sets of findings in particular. First, at the level of
lexical semantics, several related semantic clusters can be identified based on
a prototype analysis, with each cluster having its own collocational tendency.
Second, at the pragmatic level, shang
is found to be preceded by an abstract noun, the combination of which bears a
function of discourse management. I conclude that in order to fully manage the
use of a seemingly simple postposition like shang,
both the semantic and the pragmatic levels need to be considered, which is
paradoxically complex, and that working with real data is necessary, not only
for theoretical pursuit but also for lexicographic and pedagogical interests.

Speaker’s resume:
Dr. Lu recently obtained his Ph.D. from National
Taiwan University’s
Institute of Linguistics.

He is currently a visiting researcher at the LUCL.

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