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Chapitre d'ouvrage

Comparatives of inequality in Southern Min: a Study in Diachronic Change from 15th to 21st centuries.

Abstract : Our aim in this article is to evaluate Southern Min comparative constructions of inequality in terms of the evolution of different structural types from 15th to 21st centuries, based on textual data observed in local operas and in missionary texts, written for the main part in Southern Min. Diachronically, two major comparative constructions of inequality can be identified in Sinitic languages: Type I Dependent-marking and Type II Head-marking (Chappell & Peyraube, 2015). While the Type I comparative with BĬ比 < ‘to compare’ as the comparative marker synchronically predominates in Sinitic languages, the distribution of the Type II comparative using comparative markers, such as guò過, is much more widespread than has been previously supposed. An examination of the five extant versions of the Lì Jìng Jì荔鏡記 and the associated text of the Lì Zhī Jì荔枝記, in addition to seven other local operas reveals that there have been three main comparative structures in use in Southern Min since the 16th century: (i) Zero-marked A-VP-B; (ii) Adverbial A-khah4 較-VP-B and (iii) Surpass A-VP-ke3過 -B, in which A and B represent the two terms of comparison. Note that these structures are associated in their turn with a range of cognitive schemata (Heine 1997). There is also a handful of examples apparently using the Northern Sinitic comparative structure (iv) Compare A-pi2比B-VP whose status is highly debatable. In contemporary Southern Min dialects such as Taiwanese, however, the use of the Surpass comparative schema has waned, while the use of the Compare comparative has increased amongst particularly educated younger generation speakers (Li and Lien, 1995). Interestingly, a new hybrid structure combining Compare and Adverbial structures can be commonly found that is not attested at all in the earlier texts: (v) Hybridized A-pi2比-B-khah4 較 -VP. We discuss the diachronic changes in structural preferences in detail as well as the possible motivations behind these.
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Chapitre d'ouvrage
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Contributeur : Na Song Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : mercredi 17 mars 2021 - 22:54:20
Dernière modification le : mardi 19 octobre 2021 - 18:51:39


  • HAL Id : hal-03172741, version 1


Hilary Chappell, Alain Peyraube, Na Song. Comparatives of inequality in Southern Min: a Study in Diachronic Change from 15th to 21st centuries.. Diachronic perspectives and synchronic variation in southern min, 2020. ⟨hal-03172741⟩



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