Abstract：This paper aims at distinguishing two pairs of concepts related to the diachronic development of “synthetic-to-analytic” in the history of the Chinese language, based on a comparison of shi ‘send (someone to)’ used in Zuozhuan and Zhanguoce.
The diachronic development of “synthetic-to-analytic” has been extensively explored during the past decades and is still under close investigation. A number of studies from various perspectives have been conducted, with fruitful insights and findings achieved. However, little attention has been paid to the distinction between lexical syntheticity vs. pragmatic syntheticity, and distinctive meaning vs. categorial meaning, two pairs of closely related concepts.
This paper sets out to (i) make a distinction within these two pairs of concepts. Based on such divisions, four types of historical development from syntheticity to analyticity has been proposed. They are ① categorial meaning from lexical syntheticity to analyticity; ② categorial meaning from pragmatic syntheticity to analyticity; ③ distinctive meaning from lexical syntheticity to analyticity; ④ distinctive meaning from pragmatic syntheticity to analyticity. With such a fine-grained classification system, we can not only understand the relevant data in a more accurate way, but also further explore the otherwise intriguing questions such as how different types of transformations are realized in the history of Chinese; in what kind of order; and whether they are Chinese specific or cross-linguistically universal. Such investigations could contribute to revealing the rules and patterns governing the development of the lexico-grammatical system, and provide the studies of the history of Chinese lexico-grammar with a more profound perspective.
(ii) Based on a systematic investigation of the transformations of shi ‘send (someone to)’ from Zuozhuan to Zhanguoce, this paper demonstrated the four types of “synthetic-to-analytic”. Some previous studies have focused on the usage of shi ‘send (someone to)’ in pre-Qin documented texts, however, little has been done from a diachronic development perspective. With a thorough investigation of the relevant data preserved in Oracle and Qinghuajian texts in this paper, it is found that shi had made three types of changes from Zuozhuan to Zhanguoce. More specifically, the “shi NP yu G” to “shi NP shi yu G” represents the type of categorial meaning from lexical syntheticity to analyticity and “shi ? non-indexed” to “shi NP general name VP” belongs to the type of categorial meaning from pragmatic syntheticity to analyticity. (See Section 3 for a detailed discussion). Additionally, it is found that “shi ? non-indexed VP” and “shi NP general name VP” reflect register difference. The former should be taken as a formal usage, frequently used in the narrative context, whereas the latter reflects a relatively oral usage and typically appears in conversation context.
(iii) The chronology of “synthetic to analytic” is further investigated in this paper. The transformation of “synthetic to analytic” has already been initiated at the time of the late Warring States Period (before the 1st century BC.), and the transformation of some subcategories had even tended to be completed by that time. These further shed lights on the understanding of the division between Archaic Chinese and Middle Chinese.
With reference to difference sub-types of “synthetic to analytic”, a close investigation suggests that ① occurred later than ②. Such a conclusion drawing from the case study of shi is inclined to be a general rule and the other two types of changes is left unattended in this paper. This calls for further investigations.
史文磊. “从综合到分析”相关概念辨证——以《左传》《战国策》“派遣”义“使”的用法差异为例[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 0, (): 1-.
Shi Wenlei. Two Pairs of Concepts Related to “Synthetic-to-Analytic”:
Comparison of the Usage of “Shi” (使) Between Zuozhuan and Zhanguoce. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 0, (): 1-.