Commendatory and derogatory expressions in Chinese

Authored by: Janet Zhiqun Xing

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Applied Linguistics

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138650732
eBook ISBN: 9781315625157
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter aims first to review literature that is relevant to studies of commendatory and derogatory expressions in Chinese and then to develop a corpus-based model for analysing one type of polar expression: human evaluative polar adjectives (HEPAs). The result of this study shows that Chinese HEPAs can be conceptualized into three measurable domains: spatial orientation, naturalness and substantiality. Their conceptual structures are split into two categories with commendatory HEPAs associated with significant or more space, naturalness and substance, and derogatory HEPAs associated with more trivial or less substantial expressions of those properties.

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