Comparison of the instantiations of marked Chinese and English tense: A systemic functional approach
Issue: Vol 8 No. 2 (2012)
Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences
Based on Systemic Functional Grammar, this study compares instantiations of marked tense in Chinese with those in English, including simple and complex tense, and the relationship between tense and temporal circumstance. Compared with the instantiations of tense in English, the grammatical realizations of Chinese tenses do not distinguish between finiteness and non-finiteness, and tend to be located closest to the time of the event; also, unlike the mirror concord relationship between tense and temporal circumstance in English, the relationship between marked Chinese tense and temporal circumstance is that of cooperation. When the temporal direction of the temporal circumstance is in accordance with the temporal deictic meaning of the marked tense, it does not affect the temporal structure of the event; otherwise, addition or removal of a temporal circumstance might change the temporal profile of the event.
Author: HE Wei, MA Ruizhi
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