This paper aims to provide numerous pieces of evidence of iconic phenomenon in the linguistic structure of Mandarin Chinese. It shows that in the realm of syntax, iconicity is expressed in two different ways: iconic correspondence and diagrammatic relation. The former type of iconicity pursues a form-meaning correspondence in syntactic coding, while the latter pursues a correspondence in the relation of linguistic signs and the relation of their denoted concepts. In addition, the paper attempts to show that the structure of Mandarin Chinese substantiates at least four distinct kinds of association of linguistic structure with the related concept in the world: principle of quantity principle of proximity semantic principle of linear word order, and pragmatic principle of linear word order. For each type, a number of syntactic constructions are provided as examples.
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International Journal of Language Studies 11(2), pp.41-66