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Author: Min Zhang

With data from over a thousand regional varieties of Chinese, the paper presents a comprehensive survey of ditransitive constructions in Chinese dialects and their alignment types, focusing in particular on delving in system-internal and external factors correlating with the observed typological distinctions. It starts with questioning the validity of one of Hashimoto’s (1976) well-known parameters for North-South typological classification of Chinese – i.e., the double object construction (DOC) takes the form of V-OR-OT in Northern Chinese and V-OT-OR in Southern Chinese, the latter also known as the ‘Inverted DOC’ (IDOC), – based on the fact that two distinct groups of Southern Chinese, i.e., Min and Southwestern Mandarin spoken in Southwestern China, tally unexpectedly with Northern Chinese and only allow the form of V-OR-OT. It is subsequently found that the distinction is strongly correlated with the typology of the generalpurpose verb of giving (the verb ‘to give’). All dialects with DOC possess an underived ditransitive verb ‘to give’, whereas those with IDOC in general lack such as verb, using instead the combination of a monotransitive handling verb and an allative preposition, i.e., the dative construction in the form of ‘take OT to OR’, to express the ‘give’-type ditransitive event. This finding naturally leads to the following conclusions: (1) it is the loss of the verb ‘to give’ that triggers the loss of DOC in the latter group of dialects, which consequently renders the dative construction as the only ‘give’-type ditransitive construction in such dialects; (2) the IDOC is in nature an indirective construction (dative construction) with merely the dative marker left out, and the driving force of the omission is nothing but a high usage frequency of the indirective construction.

It is further observed that the English-like dative alternation between the DOC and the dative construction existing in Chinese for thousands of years since Archaic Chinese is only preserved in a small fraction of its modern varieties. The majority of Chinese dialects have undergone a typological shift from the mixed type to either the DOC-type (predominantly Northern Chinese) or the indirectivetype (predominantly Southern Chinese), motivated by the systerm-external factor (Altaization of Northern Chinese in the former case) and the systerm-internal factor (loss of the verb ‘to give’ in the latter case) respectively

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics
Author: Huiying Zhang

This paper notes some sound change phenomena of combination, loss and transformation, such as “哪樣” ɦna242 ɦiã313 becoming “哪樣” ɦnã242, “弗曉得” fəʔ5 ɕiɔ424 teʔ5 becoming “弗得” fəʔ5teʔ5, etc.

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics
In: Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones
In: Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones
In: Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones
In: Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones
In: Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones
In: Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones
In: Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones
Authors: Huan Tao and Ye Zhang

This article analyzes the permeation from the dominant dialect, Mandarin, to the Shanghai urban dialect, based on the change of xiyin syllables having the Cong initial. Combining random sampling and anonymous observation methods we investigated variations in consecutive age groups of speakers. Statistical analyses reveal that the Shanghai urban dialect is moving toward Mandarin. Under the pressure of the dominant dialect the change is in progress at the population, pragmatic, and lexical levels. These changes are explained within the framework of current theories of language change.

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics