More on the Morphological Typology of Sinitic

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics
Giorgio Francesco ArcodiaUniversity of Milano-Bicocca,

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Chinese is often defined as a ‘textbook example’ of an isolating language, with comparatively few affixes that are usually etymologically transparent (). After ‘deconstructing’ the notion of the isolating morphological type, I shall discuss data from a number of Chinese dialects spread over the Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan, Hebei, and Shandong provinces. I will show that there seem to be some areal clusters with productive morphological phenomena not expected to occur in isolating languages, which can be explained both by the cross-linguistically widespread tendency towards the reduction of certain items in speech production and, arguably, by processes of convergence among dialects. (This article is in English.)

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