Kam-yiu Lam


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Standard and Non-standard Adverbial Markers: a Diachronic Analysis in Modern Chinese Literature
John Lee | Fangqiong Zhan | Wenxiu Xie | Xiao Han | Chi-yin Chow | Kam-yiu Lam
Proceedings of the 7th Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature

This paper investigates the use of standard and non-standard adverbial markers in modern Chinese literature. In Chinese, adverbials can be derived from many adjectives, adverbs and verbs with the suffix “de”. The suffix has a standard and a non-standard written form, both of which are frequently used. Contrastive research on these two competing forms has mostly been qualitative or limited to small text samples. In this first large-scale quantitative study, we present statistics on 346 adverbial types from an 8-million-character text corpus drawn from Chinese literature in the 20th century. We present a semantic analysis of the verbs modified by adverbs with standard and non-standard markers, and a chronological analysis of marker choice among six prominent modern Chinese authors. We show that the non-standard form is more frequently used when the adverbial modifies an emotion verb. Further, we demonstrate that marker choice is correlated to text genre and register, as well as the writing style of the author.