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Basic types of clause complexes and discourse connectives: A comparative study between Chinese and English with pedagogical implications

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Title: Basic types of clause complexes and discourse connectives: A comparative study between Chinese and English with pedagogical implications
Author(s): Li, Yung-Aun
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Bouton, Lawrence F.
Department / Program: Education, Language and LiteratureLanguage, Linguistics
Discipline: Education, Language and LiteratureLanguage, Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Education, Language and Literature Language, Linguistics
Abstract: This study concerns itself with a comparison of coordinate and subordinate conjunction in Chinese and English. It focuses on clause complexes in the two languages and the explicit and implicit discourse connectives associated with them. Its purpose is to find similarities and differences between the two languages, with the latter serving as a basis from which to predict possible areas of difficulty for Chinese learners of English.As the study progressed, two types of difference became evident: first, those involving structures used in one language, but not the other; and, second, those contained in both languages but distributed differently. For example, both Chinese and English permit reduction of conjoined clauses by factoring out the common elements from one clause or the other; however, the practice applies to many structures in English than in Chinese. Another more complex difference involves implicit connectives in both coordinate (English) and subordinate (Chinese) structures. For example, the English conjunction and has little meaning of its own other than that of simple accumulation, so that much of the relationship between the two clauses joined by them must be inferred from the meaning of the clauses themselves, the context in which they occur, and the listener/reader's view of the world. Chinese has no coordinate conjunctions that operate in this way, but does employ adverbial conjuncts that link main and subordinate clauses in much the same way. Each of these two uses of implicit connectives is widespread in its own language, but is totally absent from the other. Other similarities and differences are also discussed.Finally, we compared the published policies and language texts put out by the Ministry of Education, R.O.C. with the information gained through this study to determine what, if anything, needs to be added in order to make English courses more effective and complete.
Issue Date: 1991
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/23612
Rights Information: Copyright 1991 Li, Yung-Aun
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9136660
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9136660
 

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