Poly-functionality of the preverbal "acquire" in the Nanning Yue dialect of Chinese: An areal perspective

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper aims to explore the origin and to reconstruct the path of the development of a preverbal element, glossed as ACQ here, in the Nanning Yue dialect (NY) spoken in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south-western China. Apart from being a full verb meaning “acquire”, this morpheme can also appear in preverbal and post-verbal positions, expressing different modalities. It is argued that the preverbal ACQ in Early Cantonese (i.e. the ancestral language of modern Cantonese spoken in the Pearl River Delta as well as NY) is relatively non-productive, and this leads us to consider that the emergence of this peculiar grammatical element in modern NY might involve external factors. One possible such factor is language contact. Specifically, we argue that the new readings derived from the preverbal ACQ in NY were transferred from Zhuang, the most common non-Sinitic language of the Tai-Kadai family in Guangxi, by contact-induced interference. Copyright © 2011 School of Oriental and African Studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-137
JournalBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Fingerprint

dialect
functionality
language
contact
interference
China
Language
Functionality
Verb Meaning
Language Contact
Morpheme
Interference
Modality
Full Verb

Citation

Kwok, B.-C., Chin, A. C., & Tsou, B. K. (2011). Poly-functionality of the preverbal "acquire" in the Nanning Yue dialect of Chinese: An areal perspective. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 74(1), 119-137.