A Functional Study of zhi 之 in the Chinese Nominal Group

  •  Weiwei Zhang    
  •  Manliang Li    


Over the past decades, subjects concerned with the Chinese character “zhi之”, i.e. grammatical structure, in ancient Chinese language, have been widely explored. This paper conducts a research from a new dimension: the Cardiff Grammar, an integral part of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) which is famous for its “problem-oriented theory”. In order to shed light on the semantics and syntactic functions of “zhi之” in the Chinese nominal group, this study examines five distinctive nominal groups involving “zhi之” with elaborate tree diagrams which are presented in each of the following sections. Through the contrastive study, we find that the Chinese character “zhi之” has some various functions in different situations: as genitive element (g), as modifier trigger (mtr), as selector (v), as qualifier introducer (qint) and as deictic determiner (dd).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.