The goal of this paper is to explore various syntactic properties of mai and lo in Hong Kong Cantonese. It is argued that mai is an adverb and lo is a sentence final particle. Syntactically, the adverb mai and the sentence final particle lo form a phrase, which can be analyzed as a discontinuous construction expressing mood. It is shown that the mai … lo construction can co-occur with the discontinuous constructions that are correlated with events and tense/aspects and is incompatible with other discontinuous constructions that express mood. In terms of its syntactic distribution, the mai … lo construction occurs in root clauses only and is located in the highest position of the clause.
Grammatical properties of the Cantonese particle [lei21], which literally means ‘to come’, are discussed in this paper, focusing on its focus usage (known as lei1) and its imperative usage (known as lei2). It is observed that lei1 co-occurs with a predicate nominal which conveys new information. The function of lei2 is to mark the degree of the resultant state of a continuous activity expressed by the predicate. It is shown that different kinds of [lei21] are in complementary distribution, each of which plays a unique role in Cantonese grammar.
本文討論了粵語助詞“嚟”的語法特點，尤其是集中討論用於判斷句的“嚟1”和用於祈使句的“嚟2”。“嚟1”跟名詞謂語連用，用來引介表示新信息的名詞謂語。“嚟2”對謂語有一定的要求和限制，作用就是說明謂語要達到持續狀態的結果，並強調持續狀態的程度。本文最後說明粵語的幾個“嚟”在語法上呈現互補現象，各自扮演不同的角色。(This article is in Chinese.)