Approaching the Chinese Network Catchphrase “Wǒ Kĕnéng V Le Jiă N” as a Construction

London Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume | Issue | Compilation
Authored by Han Geling, Tang Lumin , NA
Classification: FOR Code: 200499
Keywords: network catchphrase; construction; subjectivity; productivity; function.
Language: English

In early 2017 the Chinese construction “Wǒ Kĕnéng V Le Jiă N” emerges as a network catchphrase, and soon it occurs quite often in everyday conversations. Its frequent occurrences in a wide range of communication arouse the authors’ interest. This network catchphrase is viewed as a form-meaning pair, i.e a construction. This paper focuses on the structure and composition of this transitive construction, and analyzes its subjectivity, productivity as well as the pragmatic meanings intended by the speakers. It is discovered that personal and subjective cognition experienced by various netizens is reflected in similar transitive constructions in dynamically changing contexts. The first-person subjects and the epistemic modality “Kĕnéng (might)” indicate subjective judgements and attitudes about the action or event happened. In addition, the modifier Jiă intensifies deviation of the event from the speaker’s expectation. Therefore, the contrast signifies different pragmatic functions intended by the speakers in specific contexts. 


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