, Volume 42 Issue 6 Previous Issue   
Linguistic Studies
A Logical Analysis of the Configuration of Ergative-Absolutive Arguments
Lixin Jin
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 3-23.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.306
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Besides nominative-accusative structure, there is also ergative-absolutive structure. This paper logically traces the origin of the ergative-absolutive structure and elaborates on functional differences across its variants. Based on data from multiple languages, this paper proposes a hypothesis on the evolutionary direction of ergative-absolutive languages, holding that linguistic structure and form are closely related to nature, as well as to human productivity and civilization.

A Typological Approach to Relative Clauses in Languages of Common Word Order Types
Xiujin Yu, Wei Wang
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 24-43.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.307
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This paper examines the validity of Dryer’s Branching Direction Theory (BDT) and Hawkins’ Constitute Recognized Domain (CRD) in predicting and interpreting the order of relative clauses and other grammatical elements in the languages of SVO/SOV/VSO types. The analysis focuses particularly on English and Chinese. There are two primary conclusions. First, BDT cannot predict the order of relative clause and noun in English and Chinese. CRD and Early Immediate Constituents (EIC) may together account for the order of relative clauses and other grammatical elements in English, but fail to explain the order of relative clauses and other grammatical elements in Chinese and Japanese. Second, a Primary Predicate Prominence Principle is proposed to account for the order of relative clauses and other grammatical elements in languages with different word order. A predication hierarchy with the Primary Predicate Prominence Principle as its core can predict cross-linguistically that a relative clause positioned before or after the noun is correlated with VO-OV languages, while that of the adjective is uncorrelated with VO-OV languages.

Cross-Linguistic Attributive Possession Encoding Devices
Nana Ge
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 44-67.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.308
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This article investigates attributive possession encoding devices from a cross-linguistic perspective. The analysis groups attributive possession encoding devices into two categories: “simple method” and “complex method”, according to whether additional morphemes need to be added to express the relationship between possessor and possessed. The “simple method” category includes juxtaposition and tone inflection. The “complex method” includes possessive affixes, which are the most common method for expressing possession in the world’s languages. Languages that do not use affixes to express possessive structure typically use possessive pronouns or possessive adjectives. The findings are as follows: if a language encodes a distinction between alienability and inalienability, inalienable possessive relations are generally shown with an affix, while alienable possessive relations usually add other morphemes. Among possessive affixes, the majority are suffixes, most likely because the use of prefixes makes information processing more difficult. Some languages also use other methods to express possessive structure, such as locative, dative, and comitative case on nouns. The least frequent type of possessive is possessor classifiers, which are determined by the characteristics of the possessor. In most languages, there is no distinction between the possessive relation classifier and the possessum classifier. This is for two reasons: one is the close relationship between the possessum’s intrinsic features and its possessed ways; the other is the restriction of economy principle.

Translation Studies
Exploration of the Translation of Chinese Literary Theory from the Perspective of Modern Hermeneutics: A Case Study of the Translation of Wenxin Diaolong
Wenjing Dai
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 68-81.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.309
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The magnum opus Wenxin Diaolong epitomizes Chinese literary theory, which has been recognized as the most suitable literary theory for reinterpretation, modern application, and dissemination. This paper explores the three representative English versions of Wenxin Diaolong from the perspective of modern hermeneutics. It has found that both the translation strategy of translation and interpretation adopted by Vincent Yu-chung Shih and that of “translation and criticism” adopted by Stephen Owen emphasize on the academic interpretation of the English version. They are more likely to attract the attention and research of overseas scholars and sinologists with high literariness and academic value, which is helpful to promote the canonical process of overseas interpretation of Wenxin Diaolong and pave the way for the equal dialogue between Chinese and Western literary theory. In contrast, Siu-Kit Wong, who tends to give priority to mass readers, adopted the strategy of cultural interpretation, which focuses on the modern aesthetic value and cultural orientation of the translation. Wong’s translation is elegant, readable, and easy to understand, and this accelerated the dissemination and popularization of Wenxin Diaolong. The different English versions of Wenxin Diaolong have different characteristics, but they are complementary to each other and cater to different readers. The polyphonic harmony of different translations can also meet the needs of audiences at different aesthetic levels, which is conducive to the dissemination and acceptance of ancient Chinese literary theory classics in western countries and provides strong support for the overseas study of Wenxin Diaolong.

Foreign Literature Studies
An Analysis of Lawrence’s Plant Poetry Through the Lens of Critical Plant Studies
Chao Xie
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 82-93.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.310
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The emerging theory of critical plant studies aims to take plants into ethical consideration. Exploring the ethical relationship between humans and plants, therefore, has become a new trend in literary criticism. Challenging traditional Western conceptions of plants as passive objects, critical plant studies attempts to raise awareness of plant protection. Interdisciplinary approaches are adopted to examine the ethical relationships between humans and plants. This article seeks to investigate D. H. Lawrence’s plant poetry through the lens of critical plant studies. In his poetry, Lawrence emphasizes the subjectivity of plants and relates them to the idea of “blood-consciousness”. The poet warns his readers against overindulgence in rationality and industrial culture, calling for acknowledgment of the inseparability between humanity and nature. Lawrence’s plant poetry provides new insights into our perceptions of plants. The ecological thoughts embedded in these poetic works offer invaluable clues that will help us to address current environmental issues.

“Survivance” of American Indian Literature: On the Uniform Theme among Gerald Vizenor’s Works
Lihui Liu
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 94-105.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.311
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Ranked as one of the “Four American Indian Literary Masters”, Native American writer Gerald Vizenor has thirty more books published in his literary career. A comprehensive review of his various works shows us clearly that the theme of “postindian survivance” is consistently represented among these works. Based on this leading theme, Gerald Vizenor has developed an Indian national narrative of his own unique characteristics. In this essay, we analyzed both his fictional and nonfictional works to give an explanation on the leading theme of Gerald Vizenor’s national narration, which stands steady on his Anishinaabe root and highlights the Anishinaabe tradition; deconstructs the misgiven name “Indian” as a national identity; resists the oppressions on tribal culture from the white mainstream society; makes a great contribution to the study on literary themes of American Indian literature.

Young Scholars Forum
Temporal Reference Properties of Chinese Aspectual Verbs
Zhijun Lu
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 106-123.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.312
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The term “aspectual verb” help scholars to deeply analyze Chinese verbs such as kaishi. The existing research literature contains no deep investigations of the temporal reference properties of Chinese aspectual verbs. Eight Chinese aspectual verbs (kaishi, baochi, chixu, jixu, chongfu, huifu, tingzhi, and zhongzhi) show different aspectual properties in terms of event presupposition and temporal reference schemas, and exhibit different time structures of their complement clauses. The temporal reference schemas of Chinese aspectual verbs can determine their selection in different types of situations. The compatibility order for Chinese aspectual verbs to occur with situation types is: activities > degree achievements = semelfactives > states > accomplishments = achievements.

Book Review
A Review of Child Language: Acquisition and Development (2 nd Edition)
Lei Wang
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2020, 42(6): 124-135.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.313
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Child Language: Acquisition and Development (2 nd Edition) is a textbook on first language acquisition. Centering on the nature-nurture debate, this book introduces fundamental principles and theories of first language acquisition, as well as the recent findings of research conducted on child language by both nativists and non-nativists. The book consists of ten chapters that discuss basic issues of child language acquisition and development. Each chapter is presented with a wealth of research that has been conducted in this domain, accompanied by explanations of the linguistic terms and concepts involved. The book begins with an introduction of studies on language acquisition that have been conducted in different areas of linguistics, such as phonology, vocabulary and lexicon, morphology, and syntax. Subsequent chapters deal with broader themes in language acquisition, such as human language vs. animal communication, critical periods, input and interaction in language acquisition, language perception and production in the first year, as well as vocabulary development and morphological processes. The key chapters present the readers with two different perspectives on the acquisition of syntax: nativist and usage-based approaches. In addition to presenting the “what” and “when” of various aspects of language acquisition and development, the book encourages readers to examine different theories related to “how” and “why” through the arguments and data presented.

8 articles