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Article Dans Une Revue Journal of Pragmatics Année : 2019

Egophoric marking in a Sinitic language: The case of Baoding


This paper discusses the egophoric function of a sentence-final enclitic particle used in the Mandarin dialect of Baoding (Sinitic, Hebei, northern China) to express intention in an imminent future. We show that in Baoding, =ia can occur in first-person subject declarative sentences as well as in second-person interrogative sentences, but, as a rule, not in third-person subject sentences. The Baoding dialect thus belongs to the type of languages having a symmetrical system, with the same marker =ia in declarative sentences and in interrogative sentences (San Roque et al., 2017). In reported speech, =ia triggers the interpretation that the subject of the main clause is coreferential with the subject of the complement clause. While egophoricity was previously described in Wutun, a language spoken in Qinghai, at the western margin of the Mandarin-speaking domain, and known to show many features of creolization with non-Sinitic languages such as Mongolic and Tibetic languages (Janhunen et al. 2008; Sandman 2018), it has not been yet documented in typical Sinitic languages such as Baoding, located in the core of the Mandarin-speaking area. Unlike canonical egophoric markers reported in Tibeto-Burman languages, in Baoding, the particle =ia typically occurs in motion sentences including some kinds of deictic anchorage. This suggests that we are likely dealing with an emerging egophoric marker. This study contributes to the typology of the egophoricity by analysing an emergent marker of egophoricity in a typical Sinitic language: Baoding is the first Sinitic language that has been documented to develop egophoric marking without notable influence from non-Sinitic languages. It also provides some clues on the factors that trigger the emergence of egophoric marking.


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Dates et versions

hal-03172666 , version 1 (17-03-2021)



Na Song. Egophoric marking in a Sinitic language: The case of Baoding. Journal of Pragmatics, 2019, 148, pp.88-110. ⟨10.1016/j.pragma.2019.04.008⟩. ⟨hal-03172666⟩
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