A Corpus-Based Study on Mood Combination Preference in Two-Clause Composite Sentences in Modern Chinese


  •  Guangrong Wan    
  •  Chengfa Yu    

Abstract

Every clause is associated with a specific expressive intention and bears a specific mood: declarative, interrogative, imperative or exclamative. Different moods are combined with the juxtaposition of clauses. A compound sentence has a homogeneous mood combination between its constituent clauses, while the mood in a complex sentence is usually counted on its main clause with the mood in its subordinate clause(s) drowned. Clauses in a Chinese sentence, however, are independent in terms of mood; that is to say, the mood of the whole sentence is the combination of moods of each clause. Tendency for mood combination of two-clause composite sentences in modern Chinese is demonstrated as follows: 1) Homogeneous mood combinations greatly exceed heterogeneous ones; the “declarative + declarative” type outnumbers other types; and there are more combinations with a declarative mood than those without; 2) The more convincing the meaning of a particle indicates, the more frequently the corresponding mood appears in the first part of the combinations; and the mood realized by a modal adverb appears in the second part if another mood is not realized by a modal adverb; 3) A conjunction highly restricts the mood combination; and the frequency of mood combination in coordinate and causal clauses is approximately equal, much higher than that in adversative clauses.



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