ON THE TWO DISCOURSE CONNECTIVES FǑUZÉ AND BÙRÁN IN MANDARIN CHINESE: AN SDRT ACCOUNT
Jiun-Shiung Wu / National Chung Cheng University
This paper argues that fǒuzé and bùrán have a modal-like semantics and furthermore that their semantics need to be modelled by means of Segmented Discourse Representation Theory, because they involve discourse structure and rhetorical relations. Given a discourse π1, fǒuzé/bùrán π2, where π1 and π2 are clauses, π2 is interpreted given ¬π1. These two discourse connectives realize the following discourse effects. First, they introduce ¬π1 into the discourse, represented as a Segmented Discourse Representation Structure. Second, ¬π1 and π1, where the latter is present in the discourse but the former is not, show a contrastive relationship. Third, either that π2 is a result of ¬π1 or that π1 and π2 are alternatives, depending on whether it is fǒuzé or bùrán and whether ¬π1 and π2 has a (loose) causal relationship. In addition, a few more details are under discussion, e.g. which clause is negated when π1 consists of two clauses, what role the set of propositions where ¬π1 is true play when π1 is a question or an imperative, how huòzhě ‘or’ on the one hand and dànshì/kěshì ‘but’ on the other differ from fǒuzé/bùrán. Finally, the differences between these two connectives are presented.