现代汉语反义词的类别分析以及新加坡华裔中学生对相对反义词的辨析研究 = An analysis of Chinese antonyms and an investigation of their usage by secondary school ethnic Chinese students in Singapore
Date of Issue2016-10-05
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This thesis attempts to study antonyms in Modern Chinese, gradable anonyms in particular, and the usage of gradable antonyms by adult native speakers of Chinese in Mainland China, adult native speakers of Chinese in Singapore and the ethnic Chinese students in Singapore. This thesis combines a theoretical analysis and an empirical study of antonyms in Modern Chinese. It departs from the classifications of antonyms in Modern Chinese in terms of semantics and moves on to the usage comparisons of gradable antonyms based on a self-designed questionnaire answered by adult native speakers of Chinese in Mainland China, adult native speakers of Chinese in Singapore and the ethnic Chinese students in Singapore. From the perspective of lexical semantics proposed by Cruse (1986, 2001), the antonyms could be classified into four types. Based on the scale structure (Kennedy & McNally, 2005; Kennedy, 2007), the antonyms were classified into five types in this study. Criteria for distinguishing complementary antonyms and gradable antonyms were also proposed. Different from Shen’s method (1999) that classifies gradable antonyms through pesudo-comparatives, this study proposed two other criteria for the classification of gradable antonyms into three types. In addition, the semantic features of each sememe of these antonyms were analyzed. The results show that it was the differences between the sememes of the antonymous pairs that could led to the symmetry or asymmetry in the usage of the pairs. In the empirical part of the study, it was found that the usage of gradable antonyms were quite consistent between native speakers in Mainland China and those in Singapore. The effects of grade, Chinese profiency level, family language and dialect were also studied on the usage of gradable antonyms in secondary school ethnic Chinese students in Singapore. The results show that the ethnic Chinese students’ Chinese profiency level played a major role in their competent use of antonyms. That is, the higher their Chinese proficience was, the more properly they could use the Mandarin antonyms. The study results can be useful references for the Chinese language teaching to secondary school students in Singapore.