Compared with prototypical universal quantifiers in other languages of the world, dou in Mandarin Chinese presents more complicated semantic behaviors. One of the most disputed issues is what are the relations between dou expressing “universal quantification” (uq) and dou expressing “scalar trigger” (sca). First-hand data that comes from 40 languages demonstrates that Mandarin Chinese is the only language that employs the same form for “universal quantification” and “scalar trigger”. The empirical evidence strongly suggests that uq dou and sca dou are different, and the two functions uq and sca lack universal conceptual correlations. The special polysemous behavior of Mandarin dou, is proved to come from two language-specific reanalysis processes in dou’s diachronic development which also supports the two-dou claim. The study thus instantiates how a cross-linguistic perspective provides insights to explain long-standing language-particular issues. Besides, it is also argued that the cross-linguistic approach is promising in predicting if a future research is on a right track as it can steer us through overgeneralization and undergeneralization.
This paper proposes the following points: (1) Apart from changing word classes—a function much discussed in the literature—derivational morphology in Chinese may have been used to distinguish phrasal differences on a level below sentence structure, such as the distinction between direct vs. indirect objects, adjectival vs. adverbial modifiers, as well as various types of causative constructions. (2) As a grammatical domain of morphology and on account of the differing perspectives related to it, “cognition” leads to the development of inward/outward, downward/upward, exocentric/endocentric, inchoative/non-inchoative and similar distinctions. (3) While many cases of derivational morphology display contrasts of meaning by means of phonetic alternations, the reverse type of displaying contrasts in meaning not through phonetic contrasts (i.e. by zero-contrasts as a means of derivation) also exists. (4) At different historical stages or in areal varieties, Chinese has used derivational morphology to mark parts of speech or specific meanings. (1) to (3) above reflect the diversified nature of the derivational morphology in Chinese, while (4) reflects its multilayered-ness.
This paper analyses the different phonological strata of first division unrounded finals of the Xiè Rhyme Group （蟹攝），specifically the Xai rhyme and Tài rhyme, in the finals system of proto-Min and explores the distinction between double rhymes in old Jiangdong dialects. Norman (1981) reconstructed five finals for Xai rhyme and Tài rhyme. They are:
*əi for Xai 菜咍栽咍來咍
*oi for Xai 袋咍
*ɑi for Tài 帶泰蔡泰蓋泰
*uəi for Xai 改咍
*yəi for Xai 開咍
According to Norman’s reconstruction, there are four finals for the Xai rhyme but there is only one final for the Tài rhyme. Therefore, some issues need to be clarified. To begin with, what is the time sequence of those four forms of Xai? Additionally, three forms are reconstructed by one cognate in proto-Min. It is highly doubtful to regard those forms as a single stratum individually. Furthermore, the double rhymes, Xai and Tài, could be distinct in the Qieyun system but merged in most modern Chinese dialects. However, some southern dialects retain the distinction (refer to Cao et al. 2000, Wang 2004 and Wu 2005). How is the distinction of double rhymes expressed in proto-Min? It is worth examining those questions in depth.
The methodology of this paper is the comparative method. We would like to expand Min dialectal material and find more reliable cognates to reexamine Norman’s finals of Xai and Tài. From the perspective of historical development, proto-Min has several different phonological strata. After thoughtful and cautious analysis, those strata could be an important reference for the reconstruction of both Middle Chinese and Old Chinese. An important aim of this paper is to reconstruct the Jiangdong dialect, a southern Chinese dialect used in the Six Dynasties period, using proto-Min and related common dialect systems.
In conclusion: 1. both Xai and Tài could be reconstructed as two forms in the finals system of Proto-Min. In brief, *-əi and *-oi are for Xai; *-ɑi and *-ai are for Tài. 2. from a diachronic development viewpoint,the pattern *-oi: *-ai reveals the distinction of Xai and Tài, i.e. double rhyme, in the Six Dynasties Jiangdong dialect. 3. Relatedly, the pattern *-əi: *-ɑi could be traced to differences between the Zhi group （之部） and Jì group （祭部） in Old Chinese.
This study is the first to provide a bottom-up reconstruction of Proto-Ong-Be initials and finals using the comparative method. Thirty-four initials (labelled with tone series) and nine finals that can be reconstructed with confidence are postulated. This paper shows that the early voicing contrast associated with initials cannot be directly reconstructed based on the internal evidence, although the loss of the contrast is compensated for at the suprasegmental level. This study also demonstrates that Proto-Ong-Be finals remain intact in modern Ong-Be varieties. In addition, this paper serves as a testing ground and a demonstration for doing linguistic reconstruction from different angles.
Horpa is a relatively obscure Sino-Tibetan language group with an abundance of noteworthy grammatical phenomena, among which are those related to situation aspect, or Aktionsart and lexical aspect. Situation aspect can be divided into five types—state, activity, accomplishment, achievement and semelfactive, according to dynamicity, telicity, and durability. This paper analyzes situation aspect distinctions in the Gexi dialect of Central Horpa, based on first-hand fieldwork data. Semantic features and morpho-syntactic encoding of the situation aspect are explored and illustrated, focusing on the rules and mechanisms by which the situation aspect categories are derived from one another. In this process the conditioning factors of lexical versus morphosyntactic realization of situation aspect are recognized, and several important morpho-syntactic innovations are discovered. The concrete contributions in this work include the elucidation of the typological properties of verbal situation aspect in Gexi Horpa grammar and their interconnections with grammatical aspect, and an account of the way the language transitions in morphology.