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Chinfa LIEN and LIEN Chinfa

The paper examines verbs of saying (serh 4 ???, tann 3 ???, and kong 2 ???) in Li Jìng Jì, a sixteenth century Southern Min play script, in terms of construction types. We draw a distinction between four major construction types and the use of verbs of saying in set expressions. The major concern is to study how the semantic roles of Speaker, Addressee and Message are selectively realized in each construction type. We argue that a great measure of simplicity can be attained in the representation of a speech event by distinguishing compositional construction types and set expressions.

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Chinfa Lien

This paper examines the issues of idioms in verb-object constructions in Taiwanese Southern Min and Mandarin. The idioms in question fall into two categories: (1) idioms that express a personal behavior, and (2) idioms that show an interpersonal relationship. The second type can be further divided into two subtypes: (2a) cases where only two parties are involved, and (2b) cases that feature a tripartite relationship. Such a semantic distinction carries its syntactic consequences. There is also a fine-grained distinction among idioms in terms of degree of semantic compositionality: (1) idioms that are characterized by an absolute non-compositionality, and (2) idioms in which the meanings of some constituents are calculatable in terms of the mechanism of metaphor. Some idioms of the former type can be analyed vis-a-vis the pivot based upon homophony. Referntiality of the object in the verb-object construction has an intimate relationship with its syntactic flexibility.

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Chinfa Lien

The paper explores three kinds of the DARE word: kann2 A, kam2 B, and kan2 C. Unlike kan2 C kann2 A1/kam2 B1 can function as modals. But unlike kann2 A2, kam2 B, and kan2 C can be used in positive/negative questions. kann2 A2, as opposed to kam2 B, and kan2 C, can denote supposition on the part of speaker. All the three types of the DARE word can take on rhetorical function which is context-dependent and induced by pragmatic inference. A DARE word alone is underspecified in meaning and its interpretation hinges on the syntactic position it occupies. Hence there is a hierarchical relation between the DARE word and other functional categories in conjunction with mood.

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Ching-ya Chao and Chinfa Lien

This paper explores the similarities and differences between exclamatives and interrogatives in terms of scalar modal. In this modal, they both denote a set of propositions which are organized into a scale according to at least one parameter. But in exclamatives the speaker profiles a proposition which is located towards an extreme end of the scale while in interrogatives the speaker asks the hearer to pick out a proposition from a presupposed set of propositions. The conceptual metaphor “Thinking Is Moving In The Ideascape” is used to provide a cognitive evidence for our approach. Finally, a preliminary study of two types of exclamatives which are marked with wh-words 乜 mih 8 or deictic terms 拙 chua 3, 障 chionn 3, 向 hionn 3 in Li Jing Ji is given.