Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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The meaning of reciprocity in Chinese reciprocal sentences, especially regarding distributivity and what is called grain ambiguity, cannot (as we will see below) be derived from the two major theories of reciprocals: the intrinsic theory of Heim et al. (1991) and the relational theory of William (1991). This may be related to the fact that, whereas in some languages reciprocals are pronominal, Chinese reciprocals like hùxiāng 互相, jiāohù 交互, jiāoxiāng 交相, zìxiāng 自相, and bǐcǐ 彼此, all meaning ‘mutually’, always occur as adverbs. Predicates modified by them require a …

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Chen-sheng Luther LIU, “Reciprocals”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 05 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000352>
First published online: 2015

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