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A Corpus-based Semantic Analysis of Passives: Comparing Bei in Mandarin Chinese and di- in Bahasa Indonesia
Chang, Hsun Huei
|Issue Date:||2009-09-19 13:03:44 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract:||This thesis combines corpus-based and contrastive approaches, seeking to provide a systematic explanation of passive construction in two typologically distinct languages, Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Indonesia.|
Previous studies of bei construction and di- passive have mentioned and discussed some verbs which can or cannot be passivized; however, they have not yet provided a systematic categorization of those passivized verbs. Therefore, this thesis aims to reveal the semantic restrictions that affect the compatibility of verbs to appear in passive form. This corpus-based contrastive study also suggests similarities and differences of passives in both languages in terms of structure, meaning, and function.
Analysis in this study is based on two corpora: (1) the internet posting of news articles in Bahasa Indonesia from Kompas Cyber Media between January 7-13, 2008; (2) the internet posting of news articles in Mandarin Chinese from 中國時報 ‘China Times’ between January 7-13, 2008. News articles were taken from the same or consecutive days from two main topics: international news and entertainment news.
The findings in this study show that transitivity is the most prominent semantic feature of the verbal stems in order to be eligible for passivization in both languages. Bei passives are more often to co-occur with transitive verbs while di- passives can co-occur with both intransitive and transitive verbs. Regarding the relation between structure and meaning, passivization process in Mandarin Chinese only adds a causative-resultative reading and does not change the lexical meaning of the verbal stem. On the contrary, the passivization process in Bahasa Indonesia involves a complex derivation process which alters the transitivity and lexical meaning of the base verb.
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