Grammatical diversity across the Yue dialects

Bit Chee KWOK, Chi On CHIN, Ka Yin Benjamin TSOU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There is a general belief that Yue constitutes a highly uniform dialect group, with its members sharing a good number of structures and lexica with the regional prestige dialect, Cantonese. Based on our first hand data collected from the field, this paper* describes the lesser known grammatical diversity across the Yue dialects, which can be illustrated by the different uses of the following features: (a) ideophonic suffixes; (b) diminutive suffixes and tone sandhi; (c) perfective aspect markers and their position in the VP, and (d) neutral question forms. The survey includes nine dialects from different subgroups, most of which are spoken far away from the Pearl River Delta where Cantonese dominates. Our study reveals that while Cantonese has obvious influence over other members of Yue, the grammatical diversity across Yue cannot simply be overlooked.
粵語長期以來都被視為一種內部差異較小的漢語方言。作為地區性權威方言,廣州話和其他粵語方言共享相當數量的語法結構和詞彙。本文根據從田野調查得來的第一手資料,指出粵語方言的語法其實存在一定程度的差異。我們考察的語法結構包括:(a)狀貌詞後綴;(b)小稱後綴及音變;(c)完整體標記及其在動詞短語上的位置;(d)中性問句。調查的範圍包括九個方言點,大部分遠離廣州話盛行的珠江三角洲地區。本文指出:雖然廣州話對各種粵語方言的確存在一些影響,但粵語方言語法的多樣性仍然不容忽視。 Copyright © 2016 Chinese University Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-152
JournalJournal of Chinese Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


Kwok, B.-C., Chin, A. C., & Tsou, B. K. (2016). Grammatical diversity across the Yue dialects. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 44(1), 109-152. doi: 10.1353/jcl.2016.0002


  • Yue dialects
  • Language diversity
  • Ideophonic suffix
  • Diminutive
  • Perfective aspect
  • Neutral question form
  • 粵語
  • 語言多樣性
  • 狀貌詞後綴
  • 小稱
  • 完整體標記
  • 中性問句
  • Alt. title: 粵語方言語法的多樣性


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