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A Study of the Subjectification of the Chinese Word Suoyi

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2014.43033    3,738 Downloads   4,739 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

Subjectivity is an essential characteristic of language. In recent years, the subjectivity of language has been attracting the attention of the linguists. Two main research strains have developed, one being represented by Langacker, and the other by Traugott. The former studies subjectivity synchronically from a cognitive perspective, noting that in addition to the proposition meaning, language also expresses the speaker’s attitude, while the latter studies the process of subjectification from a diachronic perspective, pointing out that language tends to evolve from objectivity to subjectivity. Taking the Chinese word suoyi as an example, this research studies the process of subjectification, finding that the grammaticalization of suoyi has gone through three stages from a prepositional phrase through a causal conjunction to a discourse marker. In this three-stage process, the conceptual meaning has been declining, and the procedural meaning and the subjectivity have been strengthened.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

He, Q. (2014) A Study of the Subjectification of the Chinese Word Suoyi. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, 399-406. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2014.43033.

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