Causation in Classical Chinese During the Warring States Period and in the Han Dynasty
Keywords:Classical Chinese, the Warring states period, the Han dynasty, causation, (c)overt causative verbs, prosodic approach
In this paper, I explore causation in Classical Chinese during the Warring States period and in the Han Dynasty. Whether causation is realised via causative use of words with covert causative verbs, or via overt causative verbs, causation structures can always be divided into Agentive and Causative constructions, which can be further categorised into lexical causatives and productive causatives. I also account for causation in Classical Chinese by means of Feng’s (1998, 2000, 2009) prosodic approach and show that both strategies to form causation structures are compatible with a prosodic theory. I discuss both VO and VV causation and state that Agentive and Causative constructions involving covert causative (light) verbs are prosodic words, whereas those involving overt causative verbs exhibit properties of phrases.
Aldridge, E. (2013). Object Relative Clauses in Archaic Chinese. Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 5(2), 239–265. http://faculty.washington.edu/aldr/pdf/CJL_SUO.pdf
Barnes, A., Starr, D., & Ormerod, G. (2009). Du's handbook of classical Chinese grammar: An introduction to classical Chinese grammar. Great Britain: Alcuin Academics.
Basciano, B. (2013). Causative light verbs in Mandarin Chinese (and beyond). In F. Montermini, N. Hathout & J. Tseng (Eds.), Morphology in Toulouse. Selected Proceedings of Décembrettes 7. Monaco: Lincom Europa.
Baxter, W. H., & Sagart, L. (1998). Word formation in Old Chinese. In J. L. Packard (Ed.), New Approaches to Chinese Word Formation: Morphology, Phonology and the Lexicon in Modern and Ancient Chinese. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Chao, Y.-R. (1968). A Grammar of Spoken Chinese. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California.
Chappell, H., & Peyraube, A. (2006). The Analytic Causatives of Early Modern Southern Min in Diachronic Perspective. In D. Ho, H. S. Cheung, W. Pan & F. Wu (Eds.), Linguistic studies in Chinese and neighboring languages: Festschrift in Honor of Professor Ting Panghsin on his 70th Birthday (pp. 973–1012). Taiwan: Academia Sinica, Institute of Linguistics.
Cheng, L.L., Huang, J., Li, A., & Tang, J. (1997). Causative Compounds across Chinese Dialects: a study of Cantonese, Mandarin and Taiwanese. Chinese Languages and Linguistics IV: Typological Studies of Languages in China, Symposium Series of the Institute of History and Philology. 199–224.
Chinese Knowledge Information Group. (1989). Analysis of Chinese Word Classes. Taipei: Academia.
Choonharuangdej, S. (2008). The Usage of Causatives in Classical Chinese: A Review. Manusya: Journal of Humanities, 11(1), 1–16.
Dong, H. (2014). A History of the Chinese Language. London: Routledge.
Fuller, M. A. (1999). An Introduction to Literary Chinese. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Feng, S. (1998). Prosodically motivated passive bei constructions in Classical Chinese. In T. Haukioja, M.-L. Helasvuo & M. Miestamo (Eds.), The 1998 Year Book of the Linguistic Association of Finland (pp. 41–68). Turku: Suomen Kielitieteellinen Yhdistys.
Feng, S. (2000). Hanyu Yunlu Jufaxue [Prosodic syntax of Chinese]. Shanghai: Shanghai Educational Press.
Feng, S. (2005). Qingdongci yiwei yu gujin Hanyu de dongbin guanxi [Light-verb movement and verb-object relation in Modern and Classical Chinese]. Yuyan Kexue, 4(1), 3–16.
Feng, S. (2009). Minimal word and its function in Mandarin Chinese. In J. Z. Xing (Ed.), Studies of Chinese Linguistics: Functional Approaches (pp. 47–64). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Feng, S. (2014). Shanggu hanyu qingdongci de jufa fenxi youyu cifa jiazhui shuo lizheng [Evidence for syntactic analysis over affixive account on light verb phenomena in Archaic Chinese]. In C. W. Ho & S. Feng (Eds.), ChengJi yu Tuoxin: Hanyu yuyan wenzixue yanjiu [Moving Forward—Studies of Chinese Linguistic and Philology] (pp. 233–257). Hong Kong: Commercial Press.
Feng, S. (2016). Hanyu lishi jufaxue lungao [A Preliminary Theory of Diachronic Syntax in Chinese]. Shanghai: Shanghai Educational Publishing.
Feng, S. (2019). Prosodic Syntax in Chinese. History and Changes. New York, NY: Routledge.
Fillmore, C. J. (1968). The Case for Case. In E. Bach & R. Harms (Eds.), Universals in Linguistic Theory (pp. 1–88). New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
Guo, X., Tang, Z., He, J., Jiang, S., & Tian, R. (1999). Gudai Hanyu. Beijing: The Commercial Press.
Her, O.-S. (2008). Grammatical Functions and Verb Subcategorization in Mandarin Chinese. Taipei: The Crane Publishing.
Huang, C.-T. J. (1991). On Verb Movement and Some Syntax-Semantics Mismatches in Chinese. Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium of Chinese Languages and Linguistics. Taipei: Academia Sinica.
Huang, C.-T. J. (1994). More on Chinese Word Order and Parametric Theory. In B. Lust et al. (Eds.), Syntactic Theory and First Language Acquisition. Northvale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Jiang, S. (2014). Cong Zuozhuan zhong de P(V/A)+zhi kan xianqin hanyu de shubin guanxi [The verb-object relationship in VP in pre-Qin Chinese: Examined from the structure “P(V/A)+zhi” in the Zuo Commentary]. Lishi yuyanxue yanjiu, 8, 1–19.
Li, Y.-C. (1971). An Investigation of Case in Chinese Grammar. South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University Press.
Mei, T.-L. (1989). The causative and denominative functions of the *s- prefix in Old Chinese. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Sinology: Section on Linguistics and Paleography, 33–51. Taipei: Academia Sinica.
Mei, T.-L. (2012). The Causative *s- and Nominalizing *-s in Old Chinese and Related Matters in Proto-Sino-Tibetan. Language and Linguistics, 13(1), 1–28.
Meisterernst, B. (2006). Negation and the causative verb shi 使in Han period Chinese. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 69(3), 433–455.
Neeleman, A., & Van de Koot, H. (2012). The Linguistic Expression of Causation. In M. Everaert, M. Marelj & T. Siloni (Eds.), The Theta System: Argument Structure at the Interface. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Norman, J. (1988). Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Peyraube, A. (1996). Recent Issues in Chinese Historical Syntax. In C.-T. J. Huang & Y-H. A. Li (Eds.), New Horizons in Chinese Linguistics, 161–214. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Peyraube, A. (1997). On word order in Archaic Chinese. Cahiers de linguistique Asie Orientale, 26(1), 3–20.
Pulleyblank, E. G. (1995). Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Ramsey, S. R. (1989). The Languages of China. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Schuessler, A. (2007). ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Sagart, L. (1999). The Roots of Old Chinese. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Shibatani, M. (1976). The Grammar of Causative Constructions: A Conspectus. In M. Shibatani (Ed.), Syntax and Semantics 6: The Grammar of Causative Constructions (pp. 1–40). New York: Academic Press.
Su, J., & Feng, S. (2020). Grammatical properties and explanations of oblique VO constructions in Archaic Chinese. Yuyan kexue, 19(2), 159–175.
Tsai, W.-T. D. (2017). Jiwuhua, shiyong jiegou yu qingdongci fenxi [Transitivisation, applicative construction and light verb analysis]. Contemporary Research in Modern Chinese, 1–13.
Tsao, F.-F. (1996). On verb classification in Chinese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 24(1), 138–191.
Wang, L. (1962). Gudai hanyu. Reprited in 2001. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju.
Wei, P.-C. (2000). Shuo zhong gu hanyu de shicheng jiegou [The Causative Constructions in The Middle Chinese]. Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology Academia Sinica, 71(4), 807–856.
Wei, P.-C. (2019). Shanggu hanyu yidongshi de fazhan [Development of Putatives in Old Chinese]. Bulletin of the Department of Chinese Literature of National Taiwan University 65, 1–24.
Wilkinson, E. (2000). Chinese History: A Manual. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center.
Wu, H. (2014). Shanggu zhi zhonggu dang zhi qingtai yuyi yu weilaishi fazhan chongtan [A reinvestigation of dang’s modal and future meanings developing from Old to Middle Chinese]. Bulletin of the Department of Chinese Literature of National Taiwan University 46, 87–142.
Wu, Y. (2013). Ming-Qing Fiction. In T. Wright (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies. New York: Oxford University Press.
Xi, X., Jing, B., Kang, S., Li R., & He, Y. (1988). Gudai Hanyu Zhishi Cidian. Chengdu: Sichuan People’s Publishing House.
Xu, D. (2006). Typological Change in Chinese Syntax. New York: Oxford University Press.
Yang, B. (1984). Yang Bojun xueshu lunwen ji. Changsha: Yuelu Press.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Aiqing Wang
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published online in journal Acta Linguistica Asiatica by Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.