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Title: The Function of Pronominal Expressions in Puxian
Authors: Wu, Jianming
Keywords: Sino-Tibetan Languages
Chinese Language
Pu-Xian - Grammar
Pronominal Expressions
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Lancaster University
Abstract: Puxian, a Min dialect of China, has many significant linguistic features. Based on a corpus of spoken data, this thesis sets out to examine aspects of the grammar of pronominal expressions in Puxian, focusing especially on three prominent issues in the linguistic literature, viz. impersonality, reflexive markings and Person effects on linearization. The investigation of impersonality has been built on the latest typological framework (see e.g. Siewierska 2008) and deals with a group of constructions in Puxian that have pronominalized subjects but crucially with impersonal reference. These subjects can be projected onto five semantic domains, i.e. vague, generic, non-referential indefinite, referential indefinite and referential definite, with regard to referentiality and (in)definiteness (cf. Givón 1984: 397). A correlation between these domains and morphophonological realizations of impersonal forms is studied as well. The discussion of reflexive markings focuses on grammaticalization, as different reflexive forms in Puxian assumed interrelated functions along the pathway of grammaticalization. Significantly, some highly grammaticalized functions, e.g. impersonals or anticausatives, are not necessarily associated with more simplified reflexive forms. The attention to linearization is centered on the give morpheme kɛ21, which acts like a case marker in a number of constructions, ranging from the monotransitive, ditransitive, causative, passive and even to the intransitive. Yet the main concern is how the grammatical category of Person as a whole plays a crucial role in the placement of syntactic constituents as well as encodings of argument roles, as against the unmarked AVP word order.
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