A Meaning Study on Rhetorical question of Alternative questions Type in Modern Chinese
The research aims to analyze and formulate meanings of rhetorical question of alternative questions through the sematic approach. For this purpose, the paper addresses the recognition conditions of rhetorical question of alternative questions and then, analyzes their meaning structures, and finally, reviews the meaning formation conditions.
The results are as follows: First, through analyzing the recognition conditions of rhetorical question of alternative questions, the conditions can be divided into marked types and unmarked ones depending on markedness; marked types also can be classified into direct and indirect markedness. On the other hand, in unmarked types, situational, social morals, general common senses are considered.
Second, in semantic structure analysis, based on semantic hierarchy theory proposed by Sebastian Löbner, 2002, the meaning of rhetorical question of alternative questions was analyzed in three ways: expressive meaning, utterance meaning, and communicative one. Additively, its formative structure is expressive plus utterance plus communicative meaning.
Third, by analyzing meaning formation condition of rhetorical question of alternative questions, ‘negative meaning’ of rhetorical question of alternative questions, an expressive meaning, was derived from syntactic form of alternative questions, thus the ‘negative meaning’ takes syntactic form of alternative questions as the meaning formation prerequisite. Meanwhile, the others, the conditions of utterance and communicative meanings are mainly context, morality, common sense, etc.