中 華 心 理 學 刊
Pei-Jun Lin（Graduate Institude of Linguistics, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan）
Although Chinese speakers use the Chinese bei-construction to express a neutral or positive meaning more often that before, it seems that the main use of the bei-construction is still for expressing a negative meaning. However, it remains unclear whether the negative meaning affecting the use of bei is derived from sentence-level semantics or merely the verb’s internal connotation. In this study, we selected the 10 most positive verbs, 10 most neutral verbs and 10 most negative verbs among 140 verbs in a pretest. These three types of verbs were then put into three kinds of sentences (positive, neutral, and negative), with the sentences of each type of verb/sentence combination. These 90 sentences were presented to Chinese native speakers, who were asked to score their acceptability. A two-way ANOVA found a highly significant main effect of sentence type on acceptability, but no effect of verb type, and no sentence x verb interaction. Post hoc tests showed that the results were due to high acceptability scores fro sentences with negative connotations. Consistent with an interactive approach, the Chinese bei-construction is affected more by a higher level of semantic context than by local structural or lexical factor.
Keywords：psycholinguistics, semantics, Chinese, the bei-construction, connotation, interactive approach