Volume 49, No 1
Message from the Editors 编辑寄语
Welcome to the first issue of Journal of Chinese Linguistics (JCL) in 2021. This year marks a milestone in the development of the journal with some important announcements. First, we are pleased to announce the formation of a new editorial board, with 12 new members joining us and 9 existing members continuing to serve JCL. The new members are as follows:
Boping Yuan (袁博平)
University of Cambridge, Cambridge
It is our pleasure to welcome these internationally recognized scholars to join the editorial board. With their influential scholarship and world leading stature in their respective areas of expertise, they bring further prestige and renown to JCL.
We also take the opportunity to thank the existing long-serving distinguished members of the editorial board who have rendered steadfast support to JCL through the years and have kindly agreed to remain on the editorial board:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
We pay a special tribute to the senior members who have served on the editorial board during the period when Prof. William S-Y Wang served as Editor from 1973-2018. We look forward to working with all the editorial board members to make JCL a vibrant and stimulating international platform for dissemination of new findings. With a stellar cast and an expanded editorial board encompassing a much broader range of expertise and diversity of theoretical approaches, we hope to gather momentum, create greater impact and raise the visibility of JCL.
On another note, we are glad to inform you that JCL has adopted the ScholarOne Manuscripts system for online submission and peer review as of January 1, 2021. This is a timely move that will greatly facilitate the submission and review process. From now on, please submit to JCL via the following link: https://mc03.manuscriptcentral.com/jclin. We highly value your contributions to the journal and wish to provide you with the highest possible level of service. Please also visit JCL’s new official website at http://www.jclhk.com.hk. We look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions.
We’d like to welcome a new member, Yujiao Han (韩宇娇) to the editorial team. Yujiao is our new Managing Editor based at the Beijing office of JCL at the Beijing Language and Culture University. We are happy to have Yujiao’s support in managing the JCL’s editorial office in Beijing which complements the one in Hong Kong.
Last but not least, we would like to thank each and every colleague who reviewed one or more papers for Journal of Chinese Linguistics during the period from January 2019 to November 2020. Their names are listed on the next page. We thank all the reviewers for their support.
Shengli and Virginia
This study investigates the syntactic behavior of disyllabic localizers in Modern Chinese. Recent studies (Huang et al. 2009; Djamouri et al. 2013; Liu and Oakden 2014) point out the boundness nature of disyllabic localizers, but to date there has been no consensus on what syntactic status they have. We examine a wide range of disyllabic localizers and find that disyllabic localizers do not all behave the same. While some can be used both as independent words and as phrasal bound forms, others are always bound at the phrasal level. Nonetheless, there are two characteristics that are shared by all disyllabic localizers: they are all nominal, and they are all bound when occurring at the end of a phrase. The best way to characterize the entire class of disyllabic localizers is that they are nominal phrasal bound forms with some of them also functioning as nouns in certain environments.
本文探讨现代汉语中双音节方位词的语法表现。近年研究 (Huang et al. 2009; Djamouri et al. 2013; Liu and Oakden 2014) 指出双音节方位词具有黏着性的特点，但未对其词性达成共识。通过观察和测试多种双音节方位词，本文发现其语法表现并不相同。其中一部分方位词既可独立使用，又可出现在词组尾端有黏着性，而其他方位词只能用作黏着形式。但所有双音节方位词都具备以下两个特点：具有名词性；出现于词组尾端时，都为黏着形式。因此，双音节方位词整体应定性为名词性的词组尾端黏着形式，而其中一些在特定环境中可作名词用。
Disyllabic localizer Bound vs. free Phrasal bound form Locative
现代汉语 双音节方位词 黏着vs. 自由 词组尾端黏着形式
Liyuan Liu and Shengli Feng 刘丽媛，冯胜利
The word de 得is generally used to express capability in the affirmative forms of Chinese potential structure. But the negative potential structure V-bu 不-C without de can also express the meaning of capability. What the origin of potential interpretation in V-bu-C is remains to be a mystery in the research of Chinese syntax. This paper proposes that there is a syntactic position in V-bu-C expressing the potential meaning. However, the reason de does not appear in the phonological form depends on prosody. Specifically, de cannot appear in the syntactic environment with both object and complement. This can be attributed to the mechanism of the nuclear stress assignment in Mandarin. Being the nuclear stress assigner, V-bu-C must be in conformity with the minimal word condition (not greater than or equal to three syllables), as a result of which de cannot show up in the phonological form. Such an analysis not only answers the question of what the source of the potential interpretation of V-bu-C is from the view of syntax, but also deduces and interprets various forms of potential structures.
Potential Structure De Negative Forms Nuclear Stress Minimal Word
能性结构 得 否定形式 核心重音 最小词
Marc Allassonnière-Tang, Ying-Chun Chen, Nai-Shing Yen, One-Soon Her 唐威洋，陈盈君，颜乃欣，何万顺
The formal structure of the construction formed by a numeral (Num), a sortal classifier (C) or mensural classifier (M), and a noun (N), is controversial, as both left-branching [[Num C/M] N] and right-branching [Num [C/M N]] structures have been argued for in the literature. In this paper we report two psycholinguistic experiments on speech production and perception in Mandarin to investigate this branching issue. First, we applied the syntax-phonology interface of tone 3 (T3) sandhi and performed a phonological analysis of native speakers’ tone sandhi patterns of [Num C/M N] phrases composed of T3 monosyllabic words. Second, we conducted a click-detection experiment to see how native speakers would perceive a click inserted in a C/M phrase composed of monosyllabic words, as compared to when it is inserted in other syntactic structures with attested left or right-branching. Results from both experiments supported the left-branching structure of classifier phrases.
Classifier phrase Left-branching Right-branching Speech production Speech perception
量词词组 左分支 右分支 语言产生 语言感知
Si Chen and Bin Li 陈思，李彬
This study examines the application of two Mandarin tone sandhi rules on real and wug words varying in degrees of phonological and semantic dependency. Using two statistical methods, we examined the surface f0 contours and underlying pitch targets. For the third tone sandhi, a lexical effect was discovered on the relationship between “word-likeness” of stimuli and completeness of rule application. The degree of application for the half-third sandhi tone, however, was less consistent. This study offers new insights in the debate between categorical and gradient views of sandhi rules. We propose three hypothesized situations and argue that the Mandarin tone sandhi rule application involves computation of sandhi forms, though it becomes more incomplete on wug words containing more illegitimate morphemes. Finally, between the two rules, the application of the third tone sandhi rule is less phonetically motivated and more biased in wug words, exhibiting differences between real words and wug words.
Mandarin tone sandhi Growth curve analysis Underlying pitch target Computation mechanism Wug test
普通话三声变调 增长曲线分析 底层音调目标 计算机制 假词测试
This article presents an alternative argument that Mandarin distributor GE (GEDIS) is a pro-form to be merged as an appositive to a plural nominal, verb or adverbial. GEDIS performs a distributive function of matching a set of individuals to a set of predications, thus requiring the obligatory co-occurrence of a distributive host, i.e., an antecedent plural nominal, verbal or adverbial phrase, and a distributive target, i.e., a following syntactic constituent that helps to separate the predication. The canonical syntactic position of GEDIS is immediately to the right of the distributive host. An appositive analysis of GEDIS is proposed to the effect that GEDIS is merged as an appositive to the distributive host. This new analysis improves upon the existing adjunct analysis, which takes GEDIS as a quantificational adverb that adjoins to VP or vP. The appositive analysis is further supported by the convincing view that GEDIS is a pronoun rather than an adverb and can be extended to cover two new facts about GEDIS, where the distributive host is a plural verb phrase or a plural adverbial phrase. The conclusion reached is that GEDIS is a pro-form that is semantically associated with and syntactically apposed to a plural antecedent in the capacity of a nominal, a verb or an adverbial.
GE Distributor Mandarin Appositive Syntax
各 分配词 普通话 同位语 句法
Qingwen Zhang and Huayong Lin 张庆文，林华勇
This paper examines a special locative phrase formed by reduplication in Lianjiang Yue dialect. The locative phrase is composed of reduplicated location nominals and locative pro-forms, with the locative pro-form occurring obligatorily. It is observed that (i) the reduplicated location nominal must be definite and can be easily identifiable in the context; (ii) the grammatical meaning of the location nominal changes from “location” to “next to/near” after reduplication; (iii) locative pro-forms occurring in the reduplicated locative phrase are restricted to those similar to here and there in English. It is argued that there is a functional category NEAR in the reduplicated locative phrase. Location nominals, being the reference point of “near”, must be clearly specified, which results in the definiteness requirement imposed on them. The paper assumes that the locative pro-form is the head of the whole phrase, with the reduplicated location nominal as its modifier, which accounts for why the locative pro-form occurs obligatorily. The reduplicated locative phrase provides us with an opportunity to explore the internal structure of the locative phrase in Chinese and to learn the grammatical function of reduplication and the syntactic structure of reduplicative phrases.
Lianjiang Yue dialect Locative phrase Reduplication Syntactic structure Spatial Syntax
廉江粤语 方位短语 重叠 句法结构 空间句法
Xia Liu and Karen Huang 刘霞，黄克文
It is observed that the morpheme TAU 到 in Xiaolongmen, a Xiang dialect, appears in two distinctive positions to give sentences a past tense interpretation. The preverbal TAU (tau1213) indicates that the subject went/came to a location to participate in an event, and the subject has already left the location and the actions/events have been terminated by the speaking moment; the clause-final TAU (tau2213) indicates actions or states happened at least once in the past and they have stopped at the speaking time; it also implies that that is the reason for the current situation. We argue that tau1213 is a perfective aspect marker which assigns a past tense interpretation by using the non-coincidence relationship between the event location and the location of the event initiator. As for tau2213, it is argued to be a resultative perfect aspect marker indicating an action/state happened at least once at some time in the past and it has resulted in the current situation.
TAU到 +VP Clause-final TAU到 Tense Aspect Xiang
动词前“到” 子句尾“到” 时 体 湘语
Yan Li 李焱
Chinese scholars 莎彝尊 (Sau Yi Tsun) and 莎梦岩 (Sau Mang Yian) published an English-Chinese bilingual textbook Yingyu guanhua hejiang《英语官话合讲》 (Tones of the Mandarin dialect are given in English and Chinese) in 1865. The phonetic scheme used in this book was designed by earlier Chinese scholars. The spelling scheme is a Latin phonetic scheme used to spell the Beijing dialect at that time. This phonetic alphabet scheme has a unique value for us to understand the appearance of the Beijing dialect and the formation history of Chinese phonetic alphabet. From the perspective of phonetic characteristics, the scheme is conservative to a certain extent and reflects the literary reading system of Mandarin. At the same time, influenced by the environment of the author himself, this scheme also reflects characteristics of Cantonese. This scheme was influenced by the modern Protestant Missionary Morrison’s phonetic scheme and absorbed the achievements of traditional Chinese phonology.
Beijing dialect Chinese traditional phonology Pinyin Missionary
北京话 音韵 拼音 传教士
Volume 49, No 2
We are happy to announce that the Journal of Chinese Linguistics (JCL) will add a new “squib” section called “洞悟与心得” starting from the first issue of 2022. Prof. Yafei Li, a member of the editorial board has accepted our invitation to serve as the Editor of “洞悟与心得”. We are grateful to have Prof. Li take up this new task.
Shengli Feng and Virginia Yip
Section Editor’s Words
An “洞悟与心得” article presents a logically or empirically driven hypothesis, a theoretical idea, a remark on a published work, a yet-undocumented fact or the result of an experiment. Page-limitations aside, such an article differs from full-sized papers primarily in that it does not have to present a fully spelled-out and substantiated analysis provided that the central theme is coherent, innovative, insightful, inspiring and original.
In a field like linguistics which is highly dynamic due to the complexity of the subject matter, i.e., natural language, a researcher is constantly confronted by the awareness that there is so much data to synthesize, so many possible factors interacting in yet unclear ways and who knows how many unknown facts are out there. It is quite common that a researcher hits on a novel idea but finds it difficult to elaborate on for various limitations at the moment, notices a flaw in a published work which is nonetheless too “localized” to warrant a substantial solution, or discovers a new data pattern that resists any obvious theoretical characterization. In a word, one may have a linguistic insight to report but a piece of writing on it would be judged unfinished, incomplete or simply not substantial enough by the standards of a full paper. JCL sees great potential value in this kind of intellectual products and has set up the “洞悟与心得” section dedicated to them.
The articles will be published in English so as to maximally reach interested readers worldwide. A submitted manuscript should have no more than 10 pages of double-spaced text and footnotes plus no more than one page of references, all in the 12 point Times New Roman font with the default page margins of Microsoft Word. No changes to these default settings will be accepted.
Let us give our field a chance to follow your inspirational lead in a joint effort to reach a deeper and broader understanding of the amazing phenomenon which we call language.
JCL Editorial Offices
Lanhui Zhu 朱岚晖
The claim that Mandarin is a topic-prominent language has been widely accepted and frequently cited in studies of Mandarin Chinese since its proposal in the 1980s. The validity of this claim, however, was questioned as early as 1984. To date, little progress has been made to resolve this question. This study aimed to revisit this long-standing debate by reviewing the formation of the typological view of Mandarin proposed by Li and Thompson. In addition, this study reviewed closely related studies to highlight a distinctive path for reassessing the validity of this influential view of Mandarin. This study aimed to contribute to future studies related to Mandarin.
Typological view Topic-prominent language Mandarin Topic-comment sentences
类型学观点 主题突出的语言 汉语 主题句
Jialei Zhu and Yimin Sheng 朱佳蕾，盛益民
This paper addresses the controversy as to whether different types of resultatives can be subsumed under a unified analysis, drawing on new data from the Shaoxing Wu dialect (a Northern Wu dialect spoken in the prefecture-level city of Shaoxing in Zhejiang province), whose most productive form of resultatives is split resultatives, in the form of V(erb)-O(bject)-R(esult). This word order is generally assumed to be the underlying form of Mandarin resultative verb compounds in the order of V-R-O. On the grounds that the object of the resultative construction must be shared by the cause-denoting verb and the result predicate, and that the cause event and the result event form a single event, we argue that Shaoxing resultatives are a type of resultative serial verb construction and can be assigned a VP-shell structure à la Larson (1991). On the theoretical side, based on the observation that resultatives in Shaoxing Wu and Mandarin Chinese differ extensively with respect to the thematic restrictions on the subject, possible combinations of V1 and R, and the ‘tightness’ of the relation between the causing and caused events, which are unexpected due to their parallelism outside the domain of resultative formation, we argue against the uniform analyses that assign the same underlying structure to the two types of resultatives or derive them in the same way, and adopt a modular view on the formation of resultative complex predicates, which is parameterized in the way that while resultatives in the form of serial verb construction in Shaoxing Wu are derived in the syntax, resultative compounds in Mandarin Chinese are better analyzed as lexically formed causative verbs.
Resultative construction Resultative serial verb construction VP-shell structure Argument structure Comparative study
结果结构 结果连动结构 VP-壳结构 论元结构 对比研究
Jiangling Zhou and Virginia Yip 周蒋玲，叶彩燕
This study investigates the acquisition of the third person pronoun keoi5 佢 with inanimate referents in post-verbal position (henceforth, keoi) in Hong Kong Cantonese. Following a linguistic analysis of keoi vis-à-vis its equivalents it in English and tā它in Mandarin Chinese, we conducted a corpus-based study on the use of keoi in 9 Cantonese-English bilingual children (1;03–4;06) and 3 Cantonese monolingual children (1;10–2;09) in naturalistic settings. Results show that Cantonese-speaking children mainly used keoi as a canonical object of verbal predicates expressing irrealis bounded disposal events, indicating their early sensitivity to the aspectual properties of keoi-clauses. While monolingual children were consistently adult-like in using keoi, bilingual children produced unbounded keoi-clauses unattested in their monolingual peers and the adults. They also used higher rates of realis keoi-clauses and demonstrated interchangeable use between keoi and it in code-mixed utterances. Our findings lend support to the proposal that keoi marks bounded disposals with irrealis results or states. Input and language experience are shown to influence the acquisition of keoi-clauses, with cross-linguistic influence of English likely induced by the interplay among ambiguity of input in Cantonese, extensive exposure to English and regular processing of the English pronouns.
Cantonese pronoun keoi5 例irst language acquisition Cross-linguistic influence Boundedness Irrealis
粤语代词“佢” 一语习得 跨语言影响 有界性 未然
Wenlei Shi and Cui Wang 史文磊，王翠
This paper investigates the diachronic development of yuè lái yuè 越来越 (lit. ‘more come more’, meaning more and more) construction, a type of comparative correlatives in Chinese. It is argued that (i) the earliest usage of yue lai yue can be traced back to the late Qing dynasty (late 19th century), instead of the middle period as is widely accepted previously; (ii) contra Zhu (2010) and Long (2013) which syntactically decompose yue lai yue into yue…yue and the pro-verb lai, we propose an idiomatization analysis. More specifically, yue lai yue is derived from its spatial-oriented correlative homograph which appears in spatial-temporal ambiguous contexts; (iii) the evolution of yue lai yue is driven by its semantic change and the whole process involves four aspects of change, namely, desemanticization, decategorialization, context extension, and phonological erosion. Meanwhile, the prosody, namely Constraint on Sentential Intonation (CSI) in Chinese also plays an important role in shaping the coalescence of yue lai yue; (iv) yue lai yue can still be used separately as yue lai…yue… in certain contexts, even when the coalescence has completed. However, this kind of special usage is licensed by formal registers, evidenced by the fact that yue lai…yue… is only allowed in formal (literary) registers but not in informal ones. The study in the paper supports the argument that formal registers go upward to higher syntactic positions whereas informal registers go downward to lower syntactic positions. Furthermore, the characteristics of visual language (versus auditory language) is crucial to the development of yue lai yue as well.
Yue lai yue Compositionality Idiomaticity Constructionalization Register
越来越 组合性 熟语性 构式化 语体
Yanxuan Huang 黄燕旋
This paper aims to explore the khɤʔ2-i33 乞伊 VP construction in the Chaozhou dialect. khɤʔ2-i33 乞伊 VP is a construction correlated with an adversative sense, which is called affective construction. A contrastive study on 19th-century Chaozhou dialect documents and the current dialect reveals that the affective construction is derived from the formal passive construction as a result of topicalization and syntacticization. This construction exists in many varieties of the coastal Min dialect group due to the topic-prominent property of this dialect group. This property causes coastal Min dialects to differ from other Chinese dialects in terms of typology, while having a strong internal consistency in the evolution of some syntactic structures, such as the affective construction at issue and the resumptive disposal construction.
Chaozhou dialect Affective construction Evolution of syntactic structures Topic-prominent Syntacticization
潮州方言 蒙受句 句式演变 话题优先 句法化
Kun Ma and Miao Wang 马坤，王苗
In the so-called “third great debates on Old Chinese phonology” in recent years, there has been heated discussions on “yisheng zhi zhuan一声之转 (sound shift)” mentioned in the Guangya shuzheng, with a particular focus on the legitimacy of Wang Niansun’s theories on Chinese historical phonology. Wang Niansun followed the paradigm set up by Dai Zhen in identifying cognate words. In Dai Zhen’s Fangyan shuzheng as well as Duan Yucai’s Shuowenjiezi zhu, there is a large number of “Zhuanyu转语 (transmitted words)” materials. This paper collects the “Zhuanyu” materials from the three exegetical works above, analyzes contact types of initials, and discusses the different accounts of Old Chinese initials proposed by Dai Zhen, Duan Yucai and Wang Niansun, under the historical context between the reigns of Qianlong and Jiaqing. We find that Qian Daxin’s view of Old Chinese initials was not well received at that time. While Duan Yucai and Wang Niansun both adopted Dai Zhen’s “Shengzhuan theory声转说”, they made adjustments by prioritizing either “zhengzhuan 正转 (positive shifting)” or “bianzhuan 变转 (alternative shifting)”. This paper also compares the different evaluations of textual evidence vis-à-vis phonological theory in the exegetical studies of Dai, Duan and Huang, and analyzes disagreements between contact behaviors of initials and Shengzhuan theories in their “Zhuanyu” materials. Our study clarifies misunderstandings about “yisheng zhi zhuan” and provides insights for reconstructing the academic history of traditional Chinese phonology.
Qing dynasty phonology Old Chinese initials “Shengzhuan” theory “Yisheng zhi zhuan”
清代古音学 古声纽 声转说 “一声之转”
Norman (1982) proposes that dú 犢 ‘calf’ is a loanword from Altaic languages, and the hypothesis is often cited by later scholars. Based on the recently unearthed documents and texts, a new phonological analysis of Old Chinese, and the cross-language phonetic corresponding rules, this paper argues that dú is not a loanword but a native Chinese word. Unearthed documents from the pre-Qin period provide earlier uses of dú than those from the Han dynasty mentioned previously. Combining the time of early uses, the xiesheng series and character interchanges related to dú, and a new reconstruction of the Old Chinese sources of the Middle Chinese initial *d-, the paper argues that there is no phonetic correspondence between dú and the Altaic t-initial morphemes. The paper also points out that a basic condition of establishing a loanword hypothesis through historical documents is that the cross-language phonetic correspondence should exist at the time reflected by the earliest uses of the word.
Dú犢 Loanword Altaic languages Unearthed documents and texts Cross-language phonetic correspondence
犊 借词 阿尔泰语 出土文献 跨语言语音对应
A Phonological History of Chinese is an important and welcome contribution, which attempts to fill a glaring gap in English-language scholarship on Chinese language history. It is intended for “both the general phonologist and specialist of Chinese studies, as well as both beginners and experts” (p. xxxiv). The book is divided into six parts. The first presents the complex and daunting set of concepts and terminology that arise from the peculiar history of phonological analysis of Chinese. Mastering this knowledge is essential to an understanding of key source materials and the secondary scholarship derived from them. The remaining five parts correlate with the traditional phonological periodization of Chinese phonology: Old Chinese, Middle Chinese, the transitional period from Middle Chinese to Mandarin, Old Mandarin, and Modern Mandarin.
For scholars interested in the history of Chinese language pronunciation, especially over the last 1,000 years, this book will be a foundational and indispensable guide and reference. Shen’s wide-ranging knowledge of source materials in a variety of languages and scripts, his command of secondary scholarly literature, and his detailed understanding of patterns of relationship and change in the history of Chinese, all combine in this impressive work.