JOURNAL OF BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF AERONAUTICS AND A ›› 2017, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (2): 90-98.DOI: 10.13766/j.bhsk.1008-2204.2016.0419

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Nominalization of Monosyllabic Verbs in Mandarin Chinese: A Corpus-based Study

GAO Hang   

  1. Department of English, PLA University of Foreign Languages, Luoyang Henan 471003, China
  • Received:2016-11-14 Online:2017-03-25 Published:2017-03-31

Abstract:

It is generally accepted among Chinese grammarians that monosyllabic verbs cannot undergo nominalization. An examination of this view from a Cognitive Grammar perspective reveals that it is untenable. Nominalization is the result of such basic cognitive abilities as grouping and conceptual reification, without any inherent connection with a verb being monosyllabic or disyllabic. Besides, the view that monosyllabic verbs cannot be nominalized is not supported by evidence of language use. We have collected 1 351 monosyllabic verbs from Modern Chinese Dictionary, and investigated their uses in a corpus of over 8 million words. The results indicate that many common monosyllabic verbs can be nominalized in various types of constructions. And it is not an issue of consequence whether we should attribute such uses to schematic constructions where they occur or to these forms themselves.

Key words: modern Chinese, monosyllabic verb, nominalization, Cognitive Grammar, corpus

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