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A survey of the functions of the existential verb in Chinese in temporal and spatial perspectives reveals a closer typological similarity between the oracle-bone inscription language and the Southern Sinitic languages, and a grammaticalization process observable from archaic time shows the formation of a marker for ‘affirming existence’ which provides residual evidence in the Book of Odes and the Eastern Min dialects for possible language contact between a ‘to-have’ language and a ‘to-be’ language.

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

Tone 9 of the Jianyang dialect, for long a controversial topic, is studied across various subdialects of Jianyang in comparison with the Gospel of Matthew, Kien-yang Colloquial of 1900, the earliest extant material for this dialect. its distribution and relationship with initial consonants are carefully examined and its nature and functions described and clarified, leading to the conclusion that it is a morphologically conditioned bianyin that pertains to colloquial words and serves to convey the core meaning of "familiarity" and its derived meaning, reaffirming our assumption made in 1976.

From a broad perspective, bianyin is in essence a kind of erhua 兒化 or more precisely, the last stage witnessed in the metamorphosis of a morphological device that occurs in colloquial speech with varied fonctions. It occurs infrequently with the Min dialects, but it seems to be an areal feature with dialects spoken to the west of Jianyang along the western border of Fujian and eastern Jiangxi, including some She $ dialects in this region.

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

Recapturing the outline given in Part i of this article on syntactic typology in Chinese, the entire article “is divided into three parts: two pertaining to the neutral question forms and one to the attributive and the nominalized construction. Part 1 deals with the V-not-V questions, Part 2 the VP-neg and the Adv-VP questions and it also provides a general typological discussion of the neutral questions, while Part 3 discusses the attributive and the nominalized patterns, with a conclusion on dialectology in typology.” Since the VP-neg form is being gradually replaced by the popular V-not-V form in more than one major group of dialects or better termed as more than one major Sinitic languages, it is necessary to trace such a change wherever possible, so as to affirm whether VP-neg is the native form for the languages and dialects involved. The present paper focuses on the case of Min.


In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics
As as 2022, Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics is no longer published by Brill. Please contact for all inquiries related to the journal.

The Li Fang-Kuei Society for Chinese Linguistics 紀念李方桂先生中國語言學研究學會, named in honor of a consummate scholar who made monumental contributions in Chinese, Tibetan, Tai and American Indian linguistics, was established in Seattle on October 1, 2003 by a group including Professor Li Fang-Kuei’s family members, former students, friends, colleagues, and admirers. The Society launched its flagship journal, Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics in May 2006 together with the Center for Chinese Linguistics of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as a permanent tribute to Professor Li Fang-Kuei. The Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics plays a vital role in the Society’s mission to foster high-quality research in Chinese linguistics and related fields. Its areas of interest include Sino-Tibetan and other languages related to Chinese such as Tibeto-Burman and Tai-Kradai. Published biannually, the journal provides a global forum for scholarly exchanges to continue the great tradition embodied and fostered by Professor Li, and to shed new light and explore new horizons in historical, comparative, and typological studies. All articles are peer-reviewed and are published in either English or Chinese.