Word-Class Flexibility in Classical Chinese

Verbal and Adverbial Uses of Nouns


The apparent flexibility of words in Classical Chinese with respect to traditional word classes has always posed a problem in the description of this language and has caused much misunderstanding. Moreover, it has been long understudied, along with the closely related theory of Classical Chinese word classes. This work seeks to summarize previous research on this issue, re-orientate the discourse and construe a new interpretative paradigm that would lead to a more complex and realistic view. It is principally based on a multi-disciplinary approach and supported by the theoretical framework of cognitive linguistics. The study deals with the very conception of word classes, but its focus lies in the analysis of verbal and adverbial functions of nouns.


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Biographical Note

Lukáš Zádrapa, Ph.D. (2009) in Languages of Asian and African Countries at Charles University in Prague, is Assistant Professor at IEAS of the same university. Most recently he has published a Czech translation with comments of Hanfeizi ( Chan-fej-c’. Překlad, komentář, studie. Sv. 1., Academia 2011).


Students of both Classical Chinese and general linguistics, especially those interested in theory of word classes and word-formation, as well as in theory and application of cognitive grammar on isolated languages.


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