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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2020

An Associated Motion Approach to Northern Mandarin MOTION-CUM-PURPOSE Patterns


This chapter discusses the encoding in Sinitic of motion-cum-purpose, i.e. ‘go and buy food’, by two distinct Patterns: A: qù mǎi cài [go + purpose VP] vs. B: mǎi cài qu [purpose VP + go]. Previous studies showed that dialect background is a key factor in accounting for the distribution of these patterns. Both A and B are attested nowadays in Standard Mandarin to express motion-cum-purpose ‘go (and/to) VP’, together with a seemingly redundant “blended” Pattern C: qù mǎi cài qu [go + purpose VP + go]. Patterns A, B and C are attested in the case of ventive motion too, with lái (lai). In spite of the obvious grammaticalization of the deictic motion verbs in Pattern B (attested, for instance, by their phonetic erosion), only Chao (1968:479) analyzed the itive or ventive morphemes in Pattern B as “particles of purpose”. The various alternative analyses put forward since then, though, fail to be convincing. We argue here that associated motion is a convincing candidate as a crosslinguistic grammatical category to which such “particles of purpose” may be assigned. This view is complementary with the hypothesis developed in Yáng (2012), who finds evidence in historical documents proving that the intense contact of Chinese with OV Altaic languages was an important factor in the spread of northern Pattern B. The chapter raises the issue of a possible link between associated motion and deictic directionals, an issue under discussion for other linguistic areas.
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hal-02463732 , version 1 (01-02-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02463732 , version 1


Christine Lamarre. An Associated Motion Approach to Northern Mandarin MOTION-CUM-PURPOSE Patterns. Janet Zhiqun Xing. A Typological Approach to Grammaticalization and Lexicalization. East meets West., 327, De Gruyter Mouton, pp.131-163, 2020, Trends in Linguistics, 978-3-11-064128-8. ⟨hal-02463732⟩
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