The functional perspective on Chinese syntax has yielded various new achievements since its introduction to Chinese linguistics in the 1980s.

This two-volume book is one of the earliest and most influential works to study the Chinese language using functional grammar. With local Beijing vernacular (Pekingese) as a basis, the information structure and focus structure of the Chinese language are systematically examined. By using written works and recordings from Beijingers, the authors discuss topics such as the relationship between word order and focus, and the distinction between normal focus and contrastive focus.

In addition, the authors also subject the reference and grammatical categories of the Chinese language to a functional scrutiny while discussion of word classes and their functions creatively combines modern linguistic theories and traditional Chinese linguistic theories. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese linguistics and linguistics in general.

chapter |15 pages


Corpus and approach

part Part I|82 pages

Information structure

chapter 1|24 pages

Thematic structure of spoken Pekingese

chapter 2|25 pages

Thematic structure in narration

Sentence-middle modal particles

chapter 3|31 pages

Thematic structure in conversation

An analysis of translocation

part Part II|89 pages

Focus structure

chapter 4|35 pages

Word order

Object vs. directional complement

chapter 5|30 pages

Word order

Object vs. verbal classifer

chapter 6|22 pages

Means for contrastive focus representation

part Part III|50 pages

Backgrounding constructions