A STUDY ON STRUCTURE, FUNCTION AND DIACHRONIC EVOLUTION OF CHINESE EXTENDED MIDDLE CONSTRUCTION
- 人文学院－已发表论文 
Chinese extended middle construction, as in “zhe liang che kai qilai hen kuai” (This car drives fast) is found primarily in spoken Chinese. The intriguing semantic relations and syntactic features have prompted many scholars debating its particularity and intrinsic properties. This study explores the structure, function, and historical developments of this construction in order to discover the interaction between form and meaning in this construction. The dissertation consists of eight chapters. In chapter one I give a literature review on the current research of this construction, and briefly outline the organization of my dissertation. The central claim of chapter two is that, although there exists disagreement among scholars who believe that the English middle construction and Chinese qilaiconstruction are not the same thing, the status of Chinese extended middle construction is established through comparative studies and crosslinguistic data with other languages especially with English. In chapter three I shift to the descriptive and illustrative context where Chinese extended middle construction emerges and put forwards that this construction is a double-topic nested structure. The issue of how its form and meaning/function suited in a pair is emphasized in this chapter. This leads to me to tackle the stratification and extension of this construction in chapter four, where I argue that the three levels ---- micro-construction, meso-construction, and macro-construction could be specified in this generalized construction. The distinctions among those levels could be drawn in this systemic perspective. Chapter five further investigates the syntactic distributions of micro-construction as well as their functions and meanings, based on which I put forward the synchronic grammaticalization analysis model. It is believed that the diachronic development is the historical expression of synchronic part, therefore, in chapter six and seven I continue to discover how this construction comes out, why it appears when it did, and what kinds of factors motivate and make it come into being. Taking use of the framework of radical construction in vii diachronic studies, this dissertation not only describes the evolvement process of middle constructions but also investigates how this construction was emerging. Chapter eight is the conclusion of the dissertation. This dissertation attempts to unite the synchronic and diachronic analysis models. Besides, it integrates the static descriptive distributions on one side and dynamic structuralization or grammaticalization on the other side. It focuses not only the existed form and meaning, but also the constructioning process of the form-meaning pair, that is, how this form-meaning pair comes out, which paves the way to take the new and increative strategies of construction grammar.